Koki Ozora in Tokyo is concerned to see that suicides are on the rise in Japan. Having grown up struggling with depression and loneliness, the 21-year-old now spearheads a volunteer-run nonprofit that offers a 24-hour text-messaging service for those who simply seek a listening ear. The service, called Anata no Ibasho ("A Place for You"), answers every request -- and responds within five seconds for urgent ones. Since March, the online chat service has mushroomed to 500 volunteers, many of whom live abroad in different time zones, which provides counseling in hours when the need for suicide prevention runs highest: 10 pm to dawn. The effort has received more than 15,000 online messages asking for help -- roughly 130 a day.

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