Mental Health, Counseling and Support Groups

In times of serious stress it can be good to contact a professional counselor or the peer support line. Sometimes isolation, physical or linguistic, can make simple problems very stressful, and sometimes very disheartening. Rather than letting problems get on top of you, have a look at these options and find the right one for you.

AJET Peer Support Group (PSG)

For all JETs, there are millions of stresses that you inevitably go through. Each might seem small or insignificant to an outsider, but together they can cause an incredible roller coaster of emotions and reactions – even for the strongest of us. The Peer Support Line is staffed by experienced JETs and ex-JETs that have been through (and survived) many of the same things that you may be having trouble dealing with. The Peer Support people are very good listeners, and know a lot about the problems JETs face.

For more information, see AJET Peer Support Group

You can call them for after-hours counseling and talk from 8pm to 7am, every day. Tel 050-5534-5566.

Tokyo English Life Line (TELL).

Available for counseling and information from 9am-11pm, every day. Website: . Tel 035-774-0992

CLAIR Webmail or Skype Counselling

JET participants are able to receive professional counselling for free through Web Mail and Skype, as part of the JET Online Counselling Service established by CLAIR. You can ask your supervisor, contracting organisation or Prefectural Advisor for the password to log into these systems.
Update : CLAIR now sends the login/password information via its’ monthly newsletters so if you do not feel comfortable asking others you should be able to find it in your email, sometimes CLAIR’s emails are marked as spam so check your junk folder!


CLAIR Counselling Subsidy

With the aim of enhancing mental health support for JET participants, CLAIR offers the JET Mental Health Counselling Assistance Programme. This programme provides a partial subsidy (50%, up to ¥20,000 per year) for counselling costs incurred through consultation with mental health professionals in Japan not covered by health insurance. The coverage period usually follows the Japanese financial year (1 April to 31 March the following year).

How it works:

  • Ask your supervisor or go-between to request a form from your contracting organisation
  • It may be useful to show them the information about the subsidy (from the website or handbook) as they might not know about it.
  • You will need to fill out details of the date of consultation, name of practice and price and submit it to the CO by the deadline. You will also need to attach your receipts so remember to keep them!


Kobayashi Mental Clinic


Address: 〒650-0012


Close to Sannomiya station.

English speaking psychiatrist recommended by a Hyogo Jet. Reception speaks very little English. It’s recommended to go to the first appointment with a fluent Japanese speaker.

Seiryo Clinic Kobayashi (精療クリニック小林).

Website: (Japanese)

Address 神戸市中央区元町通2丁目 8-14 オルタンシア (HORTENSIA)ビル9階

Near JR/Hanshin Motomachi station.

Tel 078-333-9800

The director & Dr. Urabe speak English.

Terauchi-Takahashi Clinic.


Address 兵庫県芦屋市船戸町4−1

Near JR Ashiya station.

Tel 0797-31-0888.

Dr. Takahashi has excellent English.



TELL’s counseling services can help you find an over-the-phone counsellor

The International Association of Mental Health Professionals is a great place for finding psychologists in your area:


Jim McRae

A clinical psychologist based in Tokyo, is associated with the JET program and very good. He offers Skype counseling at a special rate for JETs.

Tel: 042-636-5426


Joanna Sato is a psychologist based in Tokyo who can do Skype counseling. She occasionally comes to Kobe/Osaka and can do face-to-face sessions then. Her email is IMHPJ page is  

Lil Wills

There is a British lady with a private practice in Kobe:  

The Dawn Center

The Dawn Center is a Women’s Center run by Osaka Prefecture that offers a variety of counseling services: “personal counseling” by specialized women counselors, “support groups” for women with similar problems in order to support each other (in Japanese, English and Chinese), and “telephone counseling” for those who cannot come to the Dawn Center. Health consultation, legal advice, and programs on self-assertion for women and understanding human relationships are also available.

Phone: 06-6910-8615



Address: 3-49, 1-chome, Otemae, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 〒540-0008

〒540-0008 大阪府大阪市中央区大手前1丁目3-49

International Counseling Center (ICC)

The ICC is a non-profit organization with professional counselors and psychotherapists that is based in Kobe. Your first contact with ICC will usually be with the phone intake worker, Michiko Maeda (bilingual). Michiko will tell you about the organization, get a bit of information from you and then have one of the directors call you to decide which counselor would best meet your needs.

If the call goes to the answering machine, please do not hang up in despair. If you leave your name, phone number(s) and the best time to return your call, you will almost always be called back within 24 hours, and usually sooner. Please, speak slowly and clearly and repeat the numbers, especially if you are calling from a cell phone.

Phone: 078-431-8272



Address: Kobe Kaisei Hospital, 3-11-15 Shinohara-Kitamachi, Nada-ku, Kobe, 〒657-0068

〒657-0068 兵庫県神戸市灘区篠原北町 3-11-15 神戸海星病院

Support Groups


Alcoholics Anonymous Himeji


Alcoholics Anonymous, Kobe


AL-ANON Family Support Group

For friends & family of alcoholics



AIDS Hotline

Phone: 03-5285-8088

English: 11:00 – 18:00, Mon-Sat

Japanese: 10:00 – 18:00, Daily

AIDS Information Service (Osaka)

Phone: 0720-48-2004

Japan HIV Center (Osaka)

Phone: 06-6882-0282

13:00 – 18:00, Sat.

Eating Disorders

Bulimics Anonymous (Nishinomiya)


Overeaters Anonymous (Kobe)


Gay & Lesbian Support Groups

Intl. Friends Gay Support Network

Tel: 0356-93-4569

Intl. Lesbian Support Network

Tel: 0422-56-3953

Stonewall Japan

LGBTQ people of color:

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