Japan: toilet paper, a new tool for preventing youth suicide

Japan: toilet paper, a new tool for preventing youth suicide


TOKYO | Toilet paper with suicide prevention messages printed on it: this is the original initiative recently implemented in universities in Japan's Yamanashi department. 

“Dear you, who is having a hard time pretending that everything is fine”, can we read in blue letters on these white rolls. “You don't need to tell us everything… but why not just a little?”

In addition to these kinds of messages, written by a mental health specialist and accompanied by numbers suicide prevention phone cases, soothing images also feature on these toilet papers, such as a cat rolled up in a ball.

Yamanashi authorities distributed 6,000 such rolls to 12 local universities last month .

“You are alone in the toilet. We feel that it is in such moments that distressing thoughts can come to your mind,” department official Kenichi Miyazawa told AFP on Monday.

As in many other countries, a jump in the number of suicides has been observed in Japan with the COVID-19 pandemic which has reinforced the isolation of many people.

In 2020, nearly 500 children and adolescents death in Japan, a national record and almost twice as many as in 2016, according to the Ministry of Health.

Quebec Suicide Prevention Line   • www.aqps.info • 1-866-APPELLE (277-3553)    
Youth, I listen    • www.jeunessejecoute.ca • 1-800-668-6868    
Tel-Jeunes   • www.teljeunes.com • 1-800-263-2266