Coolminds is Mind HK’s youth mental health initiative in partnership with the KELY Support Group. It aims to bring international best practice in youth mental health to Hong Kong and aid in the implementation of programmes for the prevention, early intervention, and management of youth mental health.
What is Coolminds?
Mind HK and KELY Support Group decided to start Coolminds to, as we recognized that by helping youth and those around them learn about mental health, we can make a massive difference. Our goals:
- To teach youth to recognise emotions and work with these feelings
- To give teachers, parents, and students access to high quality mental health information and help online and via their schools
- To train parents, teachers, and educators to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental health problems in young people and on ways to give them help
Mind HK and KELY Support are working collaboratively to localise and translate tried and tested programmes and interventions that have been researched and perfected over the last few years in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Comprehensive online resources, adapted from Mind UK, are already available for adults in English and Traditional Chinese on the Mind HK website.
Coolminds will continue to bring international speakers to give talks targeted towards education professionals, parents, and students and share international best practice and practical expertise. This will encourage a whole school approach to identifying and supporting students with mental health challenges and promote suicide prevention systems in schools.
Why youth mental health is important
Half of all mental health problems show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health problems begin before the age of 24. Hong Kong’s youth population are put under huge amounts of pressure from a very young age, both from expectations of others as well as the pressure that they put on themselves. They often report feeling very trapped.
Youth mental health in Hong Kong
Children and young people in Hong Kong today are finding themselves under increasing levels of stress and distress. The competition for higher education places and jobs is causing students to feel a high level of responsibility for success from a young age, which leads to them prioritising academic and extra-curricular success over their mental wellbeing. It is difficult for schools to manage the conflicting demands of academic results and student wellbeing, which results in both staff and students feeling under pressure.
Young people are also spending increasing amounts of time on social media and online. Although social media is extremely popular and has a number benefits, use of it can result in unfavourable comparisons between peers, as well as social exclusion and online bullying. Together with the ever-present strains of teenage life and development, all of these factors and more are forming a perfect storm for Hong Kong’s youth. This has resulted in insomnia, anxiety, depression, and coping strategies, such as using alcohol or drugs.
Each year we hold a summer work experience for students and welcome support throughout the year. Secondary students, university students, and graduate students are welcome to join us for work experience or to support our programmes (e.g. via school clubs).
Applications are now open for our summer programme. Please visit this page to learn more.
Call for Focus Group Participants (Parents/Educators):
Before we roll out the full Coolminds mental health initiatives in local and international secondary schools across Hong Kong, we will conduct small focus group interview sessions with students, teachers / educators and parents during May and June 2019.
The focus groups will be an opportunity for you to learn more about the Coolminds youth mental health project and share your valuable comments on how the curriculum / materials should be shaped. In particular, your engagement and input will allow us to:
gain a clear understanding of what the most important topics are in mental health training for teachers/ educators and parents
decide on the best way to present information and materials on mental health
be guided on the Hong Kong contextual factors that are crucial for our community
Focus Group on Supporting Youth Mental Health Schedule – May to June 2019 for teachers/educators and parents.
We aim to separately engage teachers / educators and parents in our focus group sessions to ensure we have a broad range of input from your school’s community.
Schedule for teachers/ educators – a 2-hour focus group workshop for groups of 8-10 persons. All educators e.g. social worker at your school are welcome.
Schedule for parents – a 2-hour focus group workshop for groups of 8-10 persons.
Note: Focus group sessions can be held in both English and Chinese. Participants will not be expected to answer anything they do not wish to and all comments, feedback and engagement will remain anonymous. More background information will be sent to those confirming attendance before the focus group.
If you would like your school’s community to take part in this important focus group and discussion, please choose an appropriate time from our schedule by clicking onto the links above by May 15th and email [email protected]. Mind HK may also be able to accommodate your own schedule too.The date will be confirmed within a week after submission.
For further questions and inquiries about the Coolminds Project or the focus groups please contact Ms Vivien So on 3643 0869 or [email protected]
High school students, we’d love to here from you! This survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes and requires you to watch a short video. Complete for a chance to win a HKD$500 voucher to your store of choice. All participants will remain anonymous, but Mind HK will use responses for its future use.
Please email around to friends/classmates: https://tinyurl.com/coolmindssurvey
If you’re looking to learn more about Coolminds, or have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email us at [email protected]