Mind HK Launches New Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Training Programme to Improve Accessibility to Early Mental Health Support for Local Adults
Become a PWP and Join hands with Mind HK to Improve the City’s Mental Health Situation
(16 December 2022 – Hong Kong) – In a culture bent on success with a fast-paced urban lifestyle, mental health in Hong Kong has always been a concern, especially over the past few years. According to Mind HK’s survey in April 2022, 55.6% of adults out of 1,000 respondents scored lower than 52 out of 100 on the World Health Organization 5 (WHO-5) Well-Being Index, indicating their overall mental well-being as “poor”.
A recent survey conducted by Mind HK in September 2022 revealed that financial concerns (52%), believing in “self-healing” (33%) and lack of knowledge and awareness of available services (29%) were the significant barriers preventing people from seeking appropriate help on their mental health issues. Also, in reference to a Hospital Authority report covering the period October 2021 – September 2022, there were over 48,000 new cases on the waiting list for psychiatric care. The latest median waiting time for stable outpatient psychiatric services ranged from 14 weeks to 63 weeks, while the longest waiting time for such services exceeded 90 weeks. These figures reflect that the considerable treatment gap is a long-standing concern in Hong Kong, which can be partially attributed to low levels of help-seeking, shortages of accessible mental support and professional therapists, and the high cost of private therapy.
To alleviate the situation, Mind HK, a local mental health charity dedicated to ensuring no one has to face a mental health problem alone, is launching a new Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) training programme. In continuation of its existing Youth Wellbeing Practitioner (YWP) programme, the PWP training programme aims to train a cohort of wellbeing practitioners to help extend access to early intervention mental health support to adults in need and reduce the burden on current public health services, ultimately creating a long-term solution to improving the city’s mental health. The PWP training programme is now open for application; individuals who are eager to gain practical knowledge in supporting people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems are welcome to apply.
Funded by the Hemera Foundation and a local family foundation, the comprehensive 11-month, hands-on training programme will be operating on evidence-based global models and offers a perfect opportunity for interested candidates to learn practical Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) skills, which are effectively used in managing a wide range of mental health problems.
The programme includes an intensive training block involving combinations of in-person lectures, group exercises, role-plays and practical assessments across topics such as an “Introduction to mental health in Hong Kong”, “Counselling skills”, “Clinical risk assessment and management”, an “Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and the Implementation of ACT-based manualised intervention”, “Triage training” and more. Upon completion of the course, all the shortlisted trainees can also gain on-site and practical experience via a 9-month placement at a host organisation (e.g. an NGO or education institute), providing pro-bono early intervention therapies for those experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems or emotional distress, with individual clinical supervision from experienced experts within the fields to ensure quality services.
Dr Candice Powell, Mind HK’s CEO, said, “In view of the soaring demand for mental health services, immediate action is required to enhance and expand the cost-effectiveness of mental health services in the city. We can no longer just rely on the traditional service delivery model involving fully trained professionals and face-to-face sessions. Introducing a new workforce of psychological well-being practitioners to provide low-intensity psychological intervention is a promising international service model. It will help to reduce the burden on the public mental health system and ease the manpower shortage. More importantly, people experiencing mild to moderate depression and anxiety can receive early intervention to prevent developing more severe mental illnesses and enhance their quality of life. PWP is a sustainable and scalable solution.”
Dr Hannah Sugarman, Lead Clinical Advisor of the YWP and PWP programme, said, “We know that early intervention is an important feature in the effective treatment of most mental health problems. By intervening early in the course of someone’s difficulties, they can be taught skills and ideas that help them to manage their difficulties more effectively and prevent them from getting worse, drastically affecting their lives. Wellbeing professionals can deliver low-intensity interventions with shorter training, adding much-needed capacity to the mental health workforce more quickly. With experienced professionals supervising these workers, they will be able to deliver effective support to people in need.”
Ms Yen Kuok, a Youth Wellbeing Practitioner (YWP), said, “My experience as a YWP has been everything I’d hoped for… and more! Our training over the summer was extremely thorough and empowering, I love how supported I feel with my weekly one-on-one supervision sessions, and my placement at this secondary school has been so uplifting – seeing the appreciation in my students’ eyes, knowing I’m making a tangible positive difference in their lives…it has me waking up every day with a smile.”
Applications for the programme are open from now until 6 January 2023. Apply now and help to make changes and support Mind HK in delivering more accessible mental health support for the local community.
Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Training Course Details:
Application period: Opens from now until 6 January 2023 (Friday)
Interview: February 2023
Training Block and assessments: May – June 2023
Placement period: July 2023 – March 2024 (9 Months)
Tuition Fee: Free – the tuition fees have been fully funded by sponsors (A deposit is required upon successful application, and will be returned only upon completion of the programme training and placement)
For more information about Mind HK’s Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Training Course, please visit:
Application form: www.cognitoforms.com/MindHK/PsychologicalWellbeingPractitionerPWPProgrammeTrainingCourse
High-res Images to download:
Jeff Chan / Chloe Hung
T: +852 2509 3308
Carol Liang, Deputy CEO, Mind HK
Emet So, Communications Coordinator, Mind HK
About Mind HK
Mind HK (Mind Mental Health Hong Kong Limited) is an S88 registered charity (91/16471), which was launched in 2017. The organisation’s vision is to ensure that no one in Hong Kong has to face a mental health problem alone. Through resources, training, and outreach campaigns and programmes, the work of Mind HK helps to raise awareness of mental health and reduce the associated stigma, with the aim of achieving the best mental health for all in Hong Kong. With existing collaboration and research efforts, Mind HK is here to support Hong Kong in becoming a global leader and regional model for public mental health. For more on their work, vision, and mission, please visit www.mind.org.hk.
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About The Hemera Foundation
Hemera Foundation seeks to recognize and promote the fundamental importance of spiritual life as part of the human experience. We believe the seeds of contemplation and self-awareness bear the fruits of thriving inner lives, compassionate communities, and a more interconnected world.