Waseda University approximately has 500 circles (サークル) ranging from various types of sports like tennis or soccer, to creative areas such as tea ceremonies, or us as HerCampus Waseda! All circles have its own purpose and uniqueness, and we do hope that every Waseda student gets to find a fun circle for suited for them. But, if you’re unsure about what circles to join or perhaps want to know a little more, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered and will gladly talk about the different circles that Waseda has to offer.
To get started, I decided to interview one of the first members and representatives, Risako Mizuyama, of one of the first internationally-minded mental health circles that bloomed in March 2020: WeSupport Japan.
Without further ado, let’s get on with the interview!
What is WeSupport Japan? What do you do as a circle?
WeSupport Japan is an international and inter-collegiate organization that aims to combat the mental health stigma in Japan. On our social media page, we share mental health tips, like how to coexist with social media in a healthy way, as well as different projects including interviews with mental health advocates around the world working to raise awareness.
When I asked why she began this university circle, Risako bravely talked about her own struggles with mental illness. She believed that with the ongoing Coronavirus and the need to isolate, it is very easy for one’s mental health to deteriorate tremendously.
[I was] wondering if others felt the same way, I posted a calling on my Instagram asking if anyone was looking for a safe space to discuss mental health. To my surprise, more than 10 people responded, and we started to hold weekly meetings through Zoom, which we have since made our primary mode of discussion.
After asking more about the weekly meetings WeSupport had, Risako elaborated that different areas of mental health are comfortably discussed such as coping with depression, ways to boost one’s self-esteem, the power of social media on our mental health, and so on. Additionally, she mentioned about one of their current projects: WeShare.
Our biggest current project is WeShare, which aims to gather people’s diverse experiences with mental health/illness. We posted a calling on our social media for anyone who wanted to answer a questionnaire or participate in a Zoom interview about their experiences with depression. We are currently in the process of compiling the answers into a video to be shared on IGTV.
WeSupport Japan has a very warm and welcoming family of 20, and they are always open for you to join! If you think that this circle is for you, feel free to check their Instagram page, or e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org.