Several universities in Japan have launched an original initiative to prevent suicide among young people: printing reassuring messages on toilet paper.
One message read, “Honey, you’re having a rough day and you’re acting like everything’s okay.” “You don’t have to explain everything to us…but why not a little?” he continues.
Authorities in Yamanashi, west of Tokyo, distributed 6,000 of these rolls to 12 local universities last month.
In addition to such messages, written by a mental health professional and placed next to suicide prevention phone numbers, comforting images with cats were also printed on toilet paper.
“You are alone in the toilets. We think this is the time when disturbing ideas can arise,” a department official Kenichi Miyazawa told AFP on Monday.
As in many other countries, the number of suicides increased in Japan with the covid-19 pandemic. According to the Ministry of Health, around 500 children and adolescents took their lives in the archipelago in 2020, a national record and double that in 2016.
© Agence France-Presse