When Wong Sen-cheung was diagnosed with schizophrenia four years ago, he feared it was the end of his normal life. 'I couldn't get up in the morning and had to take 12 pills every day to keep together. I couldn't face the fact that I was a mental patient,' he recalled. But the 20-year-old has put all that behind him - thanks to a job he enjoys and that helps him feel accepted by society. He signed up for Supported Employment Service, and, after three months training, got a job as a shop assistant in Rehab Shop, a franchise of association subsidiary the MentalCare Connect Company. 'The first thing I sold was a $70 walking stick. The old woman who bought it kept saying I had been very nice and patient. I was so happy, feeling I was able to do something useful,' Mr Wong said. Three years on the job, he has been promoted to assistant shop supervisor of the Kowloon Hospital branch. He also received a Best Sales Award from Director of Social Welfare Paul Tang Kwok-wai, who officiated at the shop's opening ceremony yesterday. 'The job helps me a lot in recovery,' Mr Wong said. 'I only need to take two pills a day and the doctor said I could stop medication soon. Now I have confidence that I can achieve many of the things normal people do.' Yvonne Yeung Kin-ha, general manager of MentalCare Connect, said Mr Wong's success proved mental patients could make contributions if they were given a chance. 'Our company has three branches of Rehab Shop, three 24-hour convenience stores and a cleaning service team. Eighty per cent of them were mental patients,' Ms Yeung said. MentalCare Connect is sponsored by the welfare department to provide jobs for the handicapped.