Health and wellness

Hong Kong’s record on mental health suggests taboos and stereotypes still hold sway

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 3:57pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 3:57pm

I am writing in response to the article “Why mental health awareness should start in Hong Kong schools and companies”(April 7). 

It is undeniable that the pressure on most Hongkongers is higher than ever, whether at school or work, on account of the social and economic situation in Hong Kong. 

These factors can lead to poor mental health, but will never directly turn Hong Kong into a city with a relatively higher percentage of severe mental disorder patients compared to other similar metropolises. That is because of the persistent taboos and stereotypes about mental illness, which deters people with mental health issues from seeking assistance. 

Apart from a focus on mental health education from a young age, clearing up misconceptions about mental illness would require public-private cooperation.

Whether through commercials or programmes on mental health issues, the right information about such conditions must be spread to raise awareness and also help suffers receive understanding and respect from the community, thereby making them more willing to seek help. A change in our values can help us to create a more healthy society.

Tiffany Kwok, Kwai Chung