NPO steps up online consultation for children as summer vacation ends

A non-profit organization is stepping up its social media-based counseling service for children with mental health issues as summer vacation draws to a close.

Tokyo Mental Health Square reports that the number of child suicides tends to increase around the time when classes resume after summer vacation. He also says he has relatively more referrals from young people at this time of year.

Counselors say some middle and high school students tell them they are worried about going back to school for the new term because their friends seem to be avoiding them. Others reportedly said they were afraid of people’s eyes and wanted to die because they had already been bullied.

The NPO has doubled the number of counselors who take care of consultations via social media at night until September 4.

The head of the organization’s counseling center, Shingyouchi Katsuyoshi, said he wanted children to share their concerns with someone and try counseling services through social media.

He also said that now was a time of great change for children and that he wanted those in contact with young people to observe them more carefully than usual.

The Tokyo Mental Health Square website address is https://www.npo-tms.or.jp/. The group offers consultations via social media every day from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. It’s free and without reservation. The service is available once a day for a maximum of 50 minutes.