A project offering a sense of community and acceptance to LGBT youth in Japan was launched today for World Suicide Prevention Day.
Loosely translated as Connected Heart School, the project’s website features videos of celebrities giving messages of hope to young people, similar to the prolific It Gets Better campaign started in the US in 2010.
So far Olympic fencer Yuki Ota, popular novelist and actor Ira Ishida, popstar Sonim and actress Ryoko Kobayashi are among the celebrities who have recorded messages.
The project was founded by Fumino Sugiyama and Taiga Ishikawa, one of the firstly openly gay politicians in Japan.
In an interview with Gay Star News in February, Ishikawa said that LGBT youth in Japan are very ‘lonely and isolated’. He didn’t meet another gay person himself until he was 26, which inspired him to start projects to help young gay people find each other.
Youth suicide is a big problem in Japan, a 12-year-old in Sapporo killed himself just last week because he was being bullied at school.