World Mental Health Day 2019:

Mind Hong Kong launches #HowOkayAreYou campaign

  • Recent research that shows 61% of Hongkongers are considered to have “poor mental well-being and unsatisfactory mental health”
  • Campaign asks Hongkongers to make a pledge to become part of the solution by asking #HowOkayAreYou, along with launching a digital guide on How to Ask and a new localised langauge around mental health in the form of WhatsApp Stickers

#HowOkayAreYou #你有幾OK #mindhk

(Hong Kong, 9 October 2019) Mind Hong Kong (Mind HK) launches #HowOkayAreYou campaign on World Mental Health Day 2019 (10 October) with the objective of inspiring Hongkongers to confront the stigma and make a pledge to change their behaviour around mental health. The campaign encourages people to talk more openly and honestly about their feelings and emotions, with a dedicated website offering a digital guide on “How to Ask” and a new language for having important conversations – in the form of WhatsApp Stickers created by local Hong Kong illustrators.

Po Wan Cheng, COO of Mind HK, said: “The first step to reducing stigma around mental health is to increase the conversation around it. The #HowOkayAreYou campaign aims to inspire people in Hong Kong to engage with each other about their mental well-being and reduce the stigma around the topic of mental health. Informed by local culture and behaviour, the campaign provides tools that help people approach what many in Hong Kong feel is a difficult conversation. By understanding the channels that Hongkongers most commonly use to communicate, and their preferred language for difficult conversations, the campaign is relatable and easy to incorporate into everyday living.”

Research: Hong Kong’s Mental Health

The campaign is a response to the continued declining trend of mental well-being in Hong Kong. “It has been a very difficult time for Hong Kong over the last few months, however Hong Kong’s mental health problem has been recognised by the professional community as an issue for several years. We hope this campaign helps us make a positive step in the right direction,” said Po Wan.

Research conducted using the World Health Organization Well-being Index (WHO-5) was commissioned by Mind HK in partnership with Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (HKPORI) in September 2019. The survey found that 61% of respondents showed signs of “poor mental well-being, suggesting further assessment for depression is recommended”.

The results are a significant drop from previous studies undertaken in Hong Kong, with average WHO-5 well-being scores of 57.78 in 2015, 56.31 in 2016, 59.75 in 2017 and 50.2 in 2018 to 44.6 in 2019. Within the “poor” mental well-being group, past studies showed this accounted for 29% in 2015, 32% in 2016, 26% in 2017, and 48% in 2018, compared to 61% today.

The #HowOkayAreYou Campaign

Mind HK’s campaign flips the script on an age-old question. When asked, ‘how are you’, the common response from Hongkongers is ‘okay’, no matter how they honestly feel. By asking #HowOkayAreYou, people are encouraged to reflect on their feelings and likely to respond more honestly. Hongkongers can participate in the movement by visiting the website

To encourage community-wide change, Mind HK ask Hongkongers to make a pledge to change their behaviour around mental health:

“I pledge to ask #HowOkayAreYou and join Mind HK’s movement to confront the stigma surrounding mental health by having honest conversations about the way I feel and asking others how they feel”.

New user friendly and bi-lingual resources include videos such as “Spotting the signs” and a How to Ask Digital Guide which empowers people with a new approach and confidence to check in on each other such as tips on how to start the conversation.

A New Vocabulary: #HowOkayAreYou WhatsApp Sticker Collections

The heart of the #HowOkayAreYou campaign is a new language around Mental Health in the form of WhatsApp stickers. WhatsApp is one of the most common modes of communication in Hong Kong, and WhatsApp stickers are a popular way to engage with eachother to express feelings and emotions. Working with eight local illustrators, Mind HK launches a series of WhatsApp sticker collections. This relatable, comfortable and localized approach equips people to shift away from the standard answer of ‘okay’ by offering a vocabulary that not only identifies how they feel but also offers responses that Hongkongers can use to check in more honestly with family, friends and colleagues.

Join the #HowOkayAreYou movement

To get involved in the campaign, visit (will be live on 10 October), following and like Mind HK’s social media pages and share the message with the hashtags #HowOkayAreYou, #你有幾OK. Help Mind HK confront the stigma around mental health and ask someone today, #HowOkayAreYou.



Join the conversation on:

Online Guide:

Mind HK Website:




High-resolution images can be downloaded here:

Link: Password: talkofthetown


About Mind Hong Kong:

Mind HK, established as established as Mind Mental Health Hong Kong Limited,” is a registered S88 charity (91/16471) committed to improving awareness and understanding of mental health in Hong Kong. They collaborate with other local and international mental health charities and provide online support and training programmes, based on global best practice, to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem and equip them with the resources they need. Through collaborative research, Mind HK is leading the way in understanding mental health problems in the city and providing its population with the right support and resources.

Anyone in Hong Kong who needs help with their mental health can be assured that they are entitled to the full support of Mind HK irrespective of their gender, race, background or beliefs. To be effective and credible, Mind HK operate as a neutral and impartial humanitarian charity without any political affiliations or other conflicts of interest. The work we do, especially our research, is dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable groups and maintaining the best mental health possible for all of Hong Kong. We hope that anyone reporting or commenting on our work will respect and support our independence and neutrality.

More about Mind HK’s commissioned WHO-5 Research

The World Health Organization Well-being Index (WHO-5) is one of the world’s most widely used questionnaires in assessing psychological well-being. It is a “short and generic global rating scale measuring subjective well-being” within the time frame of the last two weeks (Topp C.W.,, 2015). In order to avoid symptom-related language, the five-question survey uses non-invasive, positively phrased questions and is assessed using a Likert scale.

The study was conducted from 16 September to 19 September 2019. The target population was Hong Kong citizens aged 18 or above who speak Cantonese; telephone interviews to gather information (528 fixed network and 520 mobile phone number samples) was.used on 1,048 randomly selected adult respondents. Demographic variables collected include gender, age, education level and economic activity status. The raw data collected was weighted and adjusted accordingly to ensure the sample is representative.

The WHO-5 scale is as follows:

  • Scores of 52 and below out of 100 indicate poor well-being and is an indication for further evaluation and testing for depression.

A public poll will be conducted in 2020 to monitor changes in well-being and the mental health of all. A 10% difference in WHO-5 scores indicates a significant change (John Ware, 1995).

Key research findings:

  • • The average well-being score for Hong Kong is 44.6 out of 100 (scores below 52 are considered poor mental well-being and unsatisfactory mental health)
  • • 61% of respondents showed signs of “poor mental well-being, suggesting further assessment for depression is recommended”.
  • • Women have significanty lower mental well-being than men. The average for women scored 42.48 and men 47.17
  • • 55% reported feeling cheerful and in good spirits less than half of the time or less within the two weeks prior to the study
  • • 61% have reported feeling calm or relaxed less than half of the time or less within the two weeks prior to the study
  • • 14% of participants responded to not feeling cheerful or calm at any point within the two weeks prior to the study
  • • 26% of respondents scored below the clinical depression cut-off score of 28 and are at higher risk of having or developing clinical depression. It is recommended for them to seek further evaluation or support.
  • • The average score is significantly lower than previous year (approx. 11% lower than 2018) showing that talking about mental health problem is more critical than ever.

Media Contacts: For information or interviews, please contact Sinclair

Nikki McLucas | [email protected] | (852) 6895 0534

Annabel Lee | [email protected] | (852) 9829 1206


For emergency support please contact the below services:

Samaritans 24-hour hotline (Multi-lingual): (852) 2896 0000

Samaritan Befrienders 24-hour hotline (Cantonese only): 2389 2222

Suicide Prevention Services 24-hour hotline (Catonese only): (852) 2382 0000

More crisis support services can be found here:

More non-urgent support services can be found here: