The AJET Peer Support Group, or PSG for short, is a confidential and anonymous telephone listening and referral service operated for JETs by JETs. It operates every night of the year from 8pm until 7am at the number 050-5534-5566, or via Skype (voicecalls only) at “AJETPSG”.
What sort of problems can a JET talk to PSG about?
Anything at all! PSG Volunteers receive extensive training offering non-judgmental support for common issues in the JET community such as workplace stress, culture shock, and re-contracting decisions, but they are also equipped to offer some support to JETs on issues related to homesickness, depression, and relationships. PSG also frequently fields calls seeking practical information about life in Japan: English-speaking
doctors, STI testing and sexual health, or legal assistance, to name only a few. Bottom line: There are no problems “too small” to call PSG with, even if you just want to speak English with someone at the end of a rough day.
What exactly is meant by “Confidential and Anonymous”?
Confidential: What you say to a PSG volunteer stays with PSG. While PSG is funded by National AJET, it does not report to it, Prefectural Advisors, or CLAIR. The only exception to this policy is PSG’s ethical obligation to seek outside assistance if
someone voices an imminent threat to their own safety, or that of another person.
Anonymous: When calling PSG, you will never be asked for your name or host prefecture, so you have complete control over how much you reveal about yourself. While we do keep some abstract data (like common problems, and how they’re resolved) for training purposes, names and phone numbers are not among them. And, anything you do share is covered by our confidentiality policy.
For JETs by JETs?
PSG recruits and trains its own volunteers. The 25 (give-or-take) volunteers are all JET Participants in their second-year or above, drawn from across Japan and a range of nationalities and prior experiences. They are carefully selected from a large pool of applicants, receive intensive training in listening and support skills, and practice them frequently with other volunteers to better support the JET community. PSG volunteers receive no payment or compensation of any kind for their services.
How does it work?
Easy! Any time from 8pm to 7am, you can dial the PSG line at 050-5534-5566, or voicecall “AJETPSG” on Skype, and speak to a volunteer about anything on your mind. Please note that you will hear a brief message in Japanese as you are connected to our phone system–this message is NOT telling you that the number is not in service—and it may take a few moments to connect. Also, should you be unable to get an answer, it means that the line is busy, so please keep trying—the PSG line is absolutely never unstaffed during our operating hours.