21,081 Step Up Challenge

21,081 Step Up Challenge banner photo

For the past four years, TELL has partnered with Tokyo Tower in a race to the top to raise funds on World Suicide Prevention Day. In 2019, a sold-out crowd of 500 climbers raised 5 million yen to support the TELL Lifeline. 

2020 took a completely different format. We didn’t gather to climb Tokyo Tower in a pandemic, but the need to raise awareness and fight the stigma surrounding mental illness was more important than ever. So instead, 455 people across the country took on the STEP UP challenge walking one step for every life lost to suicide in 2019, and raised 1,200,000 yen. 

Sadly the challenges of 2020 saw more people struggling with mental health issues and an increase in the number of lives lost to suicide, particularly amongst young women and adolescents. 

This year we are again asking people all across the country to STEP UP for mental health. To join us, simply use your fitness tracker and challenge yourself to a one-day step goal of 21,081. You can take a walk anywhere in Japan – in the mountains, along the beach, down a country road, or in the heart of the city. Your route can be flat, hilly, or even all staircases. We encourage people of all abilities to join and interpret 21,081 steps in a way that makes sense to them. Can you wheel 21,081 feet? Write a story with 21,081 characters? Let us know what you will be doing and don’t forget to document the process. 

You won’t just be walking, but also raising funds to help the TELL Lifeline expand its operations to be available 24/7 and connecting with more people in need. You will be building awareness of mental health by sharing our campaigns on social media or starting a campaign of your own.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and people all around the globe will be walking, cycling, and raising awareness to “take a step” to remove stigmas around mental health. Come out – by yourself, or form a team – to make a difference by fundraising to help us take the TELL Lifeline 24/7. Every step helps change lives.