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2015 Mental Health Month calls for public awareness of youth mental health (with photos)

     Over 800 people participated in a ceremony this afternoon (January 9) to promote public awareness of the importance of young people's mental health.

     The ceremony, held at the Exhibition Hall of Hong Kong Science Park Phase 3, was attended by participants from the business sector, community organisations, self-help groups as well as volunteers and young people. It was held in recognition of the theme of the 2015 Mental Health Month, which concerns the mental well-being of young people.

     Officiating at the event, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said that the Government attaches great importance to the mental health of Hong Kong residents and has been reviewing the operation of community support services from time to time to keep abreast of demand.

     Mr Cheung pointed out that the Social Welfare Department (SWD) has rolled out the one-stop service mode through the 24 Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness (ICCMWs) throughout Hong Kong since the restructuring of its community mental health support services in October 2010. As at September 2015, more than 49 000 people with or recovering from mental illness had benefitted from the service. Over 12 700 public education activities, attracting more than 658 000 participants, have been held to enhance public understanding of mental wellness.

     The Government is committed to providing holistic and co-ordinated mental health services in a cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach through the synergy of the healthcare and social welfare systems. The manpower of ICCMWs has been enhanced to tie in with the Case Management Programme of the Hospital Authority, including an increase in annual spending of more than 90 per cent from $135 million in 2010 to the current level of $260 million.

     Mr Cheung added that the Government allocated an additional $12.7 million in recurrent expenditure in 2015-16 to recruit more social workers to provide ex-mentally ill persons and their carers with in-depth counselling and support services. To further enhance support for persons with mental illness, the SWD will launch a pilot project through the Lotteries Fund under which ex-mentally ill persons with trained skills will work in community psychiatric service units as peer supporters to provide peer support services to persons recovering from mental illness.

     Mr Cheung said that the collaboration of various community sectors and the Government is indispensable for the effective promotion of youth mental health. He urged the public to pay close attention to youth mental wellness at different community levels.

     Other officiating guests at the recognition ceremony were the Commissioner for Rehabilitation, Mr David Leung; member of the Sub-committee on Public Education on Rehabilitation of the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, Ms Chan Sau-kam; Ambassador of 2015 Mental Health Month, Det Dik; and the Chairperson of the Organising Committee of 2015 Mental Health Month, Mr Ching Chi-kong.

     During the recognition ceremony, Mr Cheung presented a certificate of appreciation to the Ambassador, Det Dik, for his support of the event. Mr Cheung also joined the winner of the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association World Ladies Championship 2015, Miss Ng On-yee, in presenting certificates of merit to winners of the 4-panel comic drawing and micro-film competition in district-based activities. The awardees then shared with the audience their experience in creative design and film production, followed by the showing of the winning micro-film.

     There was also a sharing session by guest speakers on how to develop positive thinking when facing hardship or difficulties, and how to cultivate a positive attitude, as well as on public awareness of mental health.

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

Ends/Saturday, January 9, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:02


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