Young Cantonese also need help
I READ with interest the letter from Y. F. Hui (South China Morning Post, January 19) outlining the fact that the Hongkong Council of Social Service is considering developing a package on peer-support to help address the emotional and social problems of Hongkong youth.
Over the last two years, the KELY Support Group has worked with English-speaking young people who may be experiencing emotional, family difficulties, drug or alcohol problems, with the aim of encouraging self-help and peer-support.
Each week peer-support group meetings are held, which offer - a safe and confidential environment where young people can freely express emotions and feelings; non-authoritarian peer-support; someone to talk to; someone to turn to.
Although it may not seem like it sometimes, there is always someone out there who has been through the same thing or felt the same way.
The KELY Support Group also supports young people by offering - individual, group and family counselling, a 24-hour hotline for advice and crisis intervention, schools talks and discussion groups.
To date, we have been predominantly involved with the English-speaking community. By virtue of this work, we have identified the need for a KELY Support Group service for young Cantonese people.
The KELY Support Group has spent the last six months developing a Cantonese service which we hope will be in place within the next three months.
KELY has submitted a three-year Cantonese-staff funding proposal to a foundation for consideration.
A drug-awareness poster campaign and advertising of the service is being developed with DDB Needham advertising.
Extra telephone lines have been installed.
Volunteer bi-lingual counsellors are being interviewed to support the service before funding has been confirmed.
The KELY Support Group believes that this service is essential to the well-being of Hongkong youth. The service will deal with the wide-ranging emotional dysfunction in the community. The most alarming symptom of which is the increasing number of child suicides. In addition, the increase of alcohol, cough mixture and other drug abuse.
Young Cantonese people deserve the chance to share experiences and discuss emotional issues. The KELY Support Group believes this will lead to increased levels of self-worth and within a collective/supportive environment will increase a young person's ability to cope with stressful issues.
The KELY Support Group has learnt a great deal about the importance of peer-support over the years.
If anyone would like further information on the work of the KELY Support Group, the hotline number is: 90329096 MIRANDA SEARS Fund-raising Officer The KELY Support Group