Hi everyone, it's me, Sean! On Saturday, October 9th, I'm going to be walking 21,081 steps in honor of the 21,081 lives lost to suicide last year as a part of TELL's STEP UP campaign! I hope to help raise awareness and fight stigma surrounding mental illness, while also raising funds to help the TELL Lifeline expand its operations to 24/7 and connect with more people in need. If you have the means, then please help me reach my target and make a difference for mental health awareness here in Japan.
For the past four years, TELL has partnered with Tokyo Tower with a race to the top to raise funds on World Suicide Prevention Day. In 2019, a sold-out crowd of 500 climbers raised 5 million yen to support the TELL Lifeline.
2020 took a completely different format. We didn’t gather to climb Tokyo Tower in a pandemic but the need to raise awareness and fight stigma surrounding mental illness was more important than ever. So instead, 455 people across the country took on the STEP UP challenge walking one step for every life lost to suicide in 2019 and raised 1,200,000 yen during a pandemic.
Sadly the challenges of 2020 saw more people struggling with a mental health issue and an increase in the number of lives lost to suicide particularly amongst young women and adolescents.
This year we are again asking people all across the country to STEP UP for mental health. It is easy, simply use your fitness tracker and challenge yourself to a one-day step goal of 21,081. You can take a walk anywhere in Japan - in the mountains, along the beach, down a country road, or in the heart of the city. Your route can be flat, hilly, or even all staircases.
You won't only walk, but also raise funds to help the TELL Lifeline expand its operations to 24/7 and connect with more people in need. And you can build awareness of mental health by sharing our campaigns on social media or starting one of your own.
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and people all around the globe will be walking, marching, or running to “take a step” to remove stigmas around mental health. Come out – by yourself, or form a team – to make a difference by raising money to help us take the TELL Lifeline 24/7. Every step helps change lives.