Death by suicide remains one of the most significant social issues in Japan, especially among the youth. Although there has been a steady decline in suicide rates since 2010, but according to a recent study, the suicide mortality rate during the pandemic (March 2020- June 2022) spiked.
To combat the issue, the officials in Yamanashi, with the help of mental health experts started a campaign involving tissue papers printed with reassuring messages and hotline numbers. According to the official, "You’re alone in the toilet. We felt that it’s at moments like this that you might be more prone to thoughts of anguish."
Till now, around 6,000 printed rolls of toilet paper have been distributed to 12 regional universities to help the distressed youth.
Along with illustrations of a curled-up cat and a woman holding an umbrella looking up to the sky, messages are scribbled on the paper. One reads, "Dear you, spending painful days pretending to be okay for someone else, you don’t need to tell us everything… but how about just a little of it?”
(With inputs from Firstpost)
(If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs)