Life Line Services Open House — Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteer work has many benefits. It can make you feel more a part of society and it can help you prepare for entering society by giving you useful job skills and general social skills. There is a unique volunteer opportunity in the neighborhood of Aoyama Gakuin University’s Shibuya Campus at the Tokyo English Life Line (TELL), an English version of the service offered in Japanese under the name Inochi no Denwa, a sort of crisis counseling for people who are psychologically/ emotionally troubled. Before you can be on the line there’s a lengthy, but valuable, training. You can learn more about yourself at the same time you learn how to listen deeply to others.

I hope you can find the time to attend the TELL “open house” this Saturday in order to learn more about the organization and the role you might be able to play in it.

EVENT: Life Line Services Open House
WHEN: June 17th 2011 · 7pm – 9pm
WHERE: Wesley Center (Click HERE for a map)
DESCRIPTION (Written by the Lifeline’s director, Jason Chare):

In the days following the March 11th Earthquake and Tsunami, TELL’s Life Line received calls from people across the country and even outside of Japan experiencing severe anxiety. Callers struggled to find accurate information amidst the sensationalized coverage by the media, the exodus of foreigners from the country, the closure of international schools, and calls from panicked relatives back home, all of which significantly added to increased levels of anxiety and worry. Stressors over the subsequent weeks have placed considerable mental strain on the whole country.

Throughout this difficult period, it has been especially important for the Life Line to continue operating and be available to callers, because an unmanned line can add to the sense of instability and panic. Despite the challenges of blackouts, transportation issues and the relocation of some volunteers, the Life Line continued to run uninterrupted throughout the disaster, thanks to the increased efforts of our telephone counselors.

In order to continue supporting the community however, it is vitally important that we  train new counselors, especially in the light of recent events. Each year, TELL runs two Telephone Counselor Training programs, and we are inviting suitable candidates to join the Fall program that begins on September 17th. Held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings  from 6:30 – 9:30pm, the program runs through to December 3rd.

“The course really empowers you on your personal journey,” said a current telephone counselor.
“You grow in confidence knowing that when you finally fly solo you will be
well prepared and that you have learnt skills that you will always be able to call on in any area of your life.”

To better illustrate what the Life Line does and what it means to be a Telephone Counselor, TELL is holding its first-ever Life Line Services Open House on June 17th from 7pm ~ 9pm at the Wesley Center in Minami Aoyama. What does it take to be a Telephone Counselors? Who can apply? What kind of calls do you get? This is your opportunity to hear all about it, ask questions, and decide if the Life Line is something you’d like to get involved with.

Whether you are a university student, teacher, business person, or stay-at-home spouse, the skills you learn in the training will have benefits in all areas of your life, such as how to effectively listen and communicate. Please come and find out more about what is involved and talk to us about the Life Line.

For more information, call the Business Office at (03)4550-1191 or visit

About Jodias

J.V. Dias, an American from San Jose, California, is currently the co-coordinator of the Integrated English (IE) Program and a member of the Communications Unit of Aoyama Gakuin University's English Department. In the last few years he has published articles that appeared in two TESOL texts: Dias, J.V., & Kikuchi, K. (2010). Designing listening tasks: Lessons learned from needs analysis studies. In Teaching Listening: Voices From the Field (N. Ashcraft and A. Tran, Eds.). Alexandria, VA: TESOL, pp. 9-31. AND... Dias, J.V. (2009). A Web of Controversy: Bringing Critical Thinking Skills Online. In Adult language learners: Context and innovation (G. Strong and A. Smith, Eds.). Alexandria, VA: TESOL, pp. 97-105.
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