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Mental Health Month 2014/15 calls for public awareness of elderly mental health (with photos)

     A recognition ceremony for Mental Health Month 2014/15 was held this morning (January 24) at the Grand Theatre of Heung Yee Kuk Building in Sha Tin, where over 800 individuals from the business sector, community groups and self-help organisations joined with elderly persons and volunteers in calling for public awareness of elderly mental health.

     Addressing the ceremony as an officiating guest, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said that the Government has implemented various initiatives throughout the years to provide appropriate mental health services for persons with or recovering from mental illness.

     Mr Cheung said that the Government would roll out measures to further enhance support for mentally ill persons. These include the introduction of a "peer support" concept, whereby the Social Welfare Department would explore the implementation of a pilot project under the Lotteries Fund to allow trained ex-mentally ill persons serve as peer supporters to provide support and encouragement for those in rehabilitation. The Government will also strengthen the manpower of social workers in all Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness and provide them with appropriate training.

     The theme of Mental Health Month 2014/15 is the mental wellness of elderly persons. Mr Cheung pointed out that the concerted efforts of the Government and the community at large are indispensable for the effective promotion of elderly mental health. He called for public support and co-operation in promoting public awareness of the mental health of elderly persons at different community levels.

     Other officiating guests included the Chairman of the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee Sub-committee on Public Education on Rehabilitation, Dr Raymond Leung; the Chairman of the Elderly Commission, Professor Alfred Chan; the Commissioner for Rehabilitation, Ms Joyce Tam; representative of the TV drama series "Come Home Love" - the supporting partner of Mental Health Month, Mr Lau Dan; and the Chairperson of the Organising Committee of Mental Health Month, Ms Sania Yau.

     At the recognition ceremony, Mr Cheung presented a certificate of appreciation to Mr Lau Dan for the TV artistes' support for the event, while Ms Tam and other artistes presented certificates of merit to the students and their school representatives as well as to organisations that participated in district-based activities and achieved good results.

     Following the ceremony was a sharing session by guest speakers on their experience in leading a healthy life and a demonstration of physical fitness exercises for elderly persons. In addition, there was an interactive session between the TV artistes and participants to appeal for public awareness of mental health of elderly persons.

     Mental Health Month is jointly organised by the Labour and Welfare Bureau, government departments, public organisations and non-governmental organisations. Details of the activities being held during the Mental Health Month can be found on the Labour and Welfare Bureau website (

Ends/Saturday, January 24, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:47


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