PSG is a completely confidential and anonymous resource that has been operated by JETs, for JETs, for nearly two decades. Its hotline operates from 20:00–07:00, 365 days a year, to assist JETs with anything from culture shock to a crisis. Our volunteers are all current JETs who understand the unique challenges that ALTs and CIRs face on the JET Programme. They receive extensive training in support skills, and are familiar with the resources available to JET participants facing all manner of challenges.
Basic Eligibility Requirements:
The window for distributing applications has closed. If you have received an application but haven’t turned it in yet, please send it in as soon as possible! Questions can be directed to the PSG Volunteer Coordinator, Amy McQuillan, at .
After a careful reading of all the written applications, some applicants will be asked to participate in role-play interviews. We anticipate notifying successful applicants in mid-to-late April, with training beginning after Golden Week.
Q: When will applications be available?
A: Applications were available from February 15th until March 15th; the window is now closed. Thanks to everyone who applied!
Q: You say that prior experience isn’t required, and that PSG isn’t a professional counseling service. I have professional qualifications—can I still apply?
A: Yes, absolutely! Our work is very distinct from counseling—which, among other things, is based on the sort of ongoing relationship that PSG cannot have as an anonymous support line—but it is based on many of the same principles, and there’s a some skill overlap. As long as you recognize that when working as a PSG Volunteer you are not in a position to provide counseling, that experience can only be a plus. Many JETs with professional credentials have lent their skills to PSG over the year.
Q: Are PSG Volunteers paid?
A: No, PSG volunteers receive no compensation for their service.
Q: Does PSG have an office or a call center? Do I have to travel to volunteer?
A: We wish! We use VoIP technology to connect our national hotline to our volunteers’ personal computers or telephones, so you can work the line from the comfort of your kotatsu. Training is also conducted through conference calls, so you can do that at home too. We do try to arrange a few volunteer meet-ups throughout the year, though.
Q: PSG operates from 20:00 to 07:00—how does that work? Do I have to stay up all night?
A: Typically, one volunteer staffs the line for the entire shift period. Volunteers are allowed to sleep on shift, provided that they are able to respond quickly to any call that may come in.
Q: I work for a non-JET company in Japan. Can I still volunteer?
A: Sorry, PSG volunteers must be current JET Programme participants. Even PSG Volunteers who stay in Japan have to leave the group upon the end of their time on JET. You might try looking at the Tokyo English Lifeline if you’re interested in being involved with something similar.
Q: I’ll be leaving JET this summer, but this sounds like a great learning opportunity. Can I still volunteer?
A: Sorry, training is a very intense and time-consuming process, and we have to reserve our limited spots for volunteers who can make a commitment for the entire year.
Q: Who runs PSG? Does it report to anyone?
A: PSG is an independent organization, which we think is critical to offering JETs unbiased support and guidance. We are supported by National AJET, but operate autonomously and do not report calls to it, CLAIR, Prefectural Advisors, contracting organizations, or legal authorities. Callers who seek PSG’s assistance are therefore guaranteed that it has no financial or professional stake in their situation, only a concern for their well-being. The only exception to our confidentiality policy is if someone poses an imminent threat to themselves or the safety of others. We have to take action if there are lives at stake.
Q: Hey, you didn’t answer my question!
A: Regrettably, the P in PSG doesn’t stand for psychic. Give us an e-mail over at , and we’ll be happy to give you more information. However, we ask that you do not contact the hotline with recruiting-related inquiries.