YWP Programme - Host Organisation

Youth Wellbeing Practitioner (YWP) Programme – Host Organisation

(Formerly named as ‘Low Intensity Intervention for Young People Training Course’)

Mind HK and MINDSET are pleased to announce its new youth mental health programme – the Youth Wellbeing Practitioner (YWP) Programme. Using an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) framework, our programme will train up 50 practitioners to provide guided self-help techniques to young people facing mild to moderate mental health problems in Hong Kong. We are now inviting schools, universities and community organisations to become participating host organisations so that our practitioners can provide free mental health and emotional support to youth.

 

Key information 

Cost to host organisations: FREE

Programme placement date: September 2022 – June 2023

Benefits of joining the programme:

  • No costs to organisations for hosting practitioners – The programme has been fully funded by our sponsors, all induction and training will be provided to host organisations free of charge.
  • Increase provision of mental health support within your organisation.
  • Contribute to improving mental health in Hong Kong and be part of a pioneering initiative.
  • Encourage early intervention for mild difficulties, preventing problems from becoming more serious.
  • Post-placement: host organisations have the option to employ YWPs as permanent staff members once they complete training.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Working with youth aged 12-24;
  • Has a minimum of 27 participating youth to receive the intervention. Should organisations have less than 27 youth to receive support, organisations can consider the split placement option, whereby organisations will share a practitioner);
  • Be able to provide a safe space for the trainee practitioner to conduct sessions;
  • Have an existing referral system in place (e.g. via a qualified psychologist, social worker, or school counsellor) for:
    • youth requiring mental health support, with professionals who is experienced in mental health assessment;
    • onward referral to mental health services for youth requiring more intensive input from mental health professionals;
  • Be able to demonstrate local risk protocols that provide adequate support for youth experiencing mental health problems and those working with them.

 

For a detailed version of the eligibility criteria, please follow this link.

Funding

The practitioner training fees have been fully funded by the programme’s sponsors: Jardine Matheson, MINDSET, Hongkong Land HOME FUND and HKEX Foundation. These practitioners are then placed free of charge at host organisations to provide support to youth aged 12-24.

Enquiries

Please email Rachel Wong [email protected] and use the subject line Mind HK – Host Organisation Enquiry – [Organisation Name]

FAQs

What is the Youth Wellbeing Practitioner (YWP) Programme?

The programme aims to train 50 practitioners with a foundational understanding of low intensity psychological interventions for young people. It hopes to increase access to mental health care and support for young people (aged 12-24) in Hong Kong, through training individuals to deliver low-intensity, manualised and guided self-help interventions based upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

This programme is based on a model similar to the UK’s Children and Young Person’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP-IAPT) initiative.

The pilot programme will train the first cohort of workers, who will be trained to deliver interventions to young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

It is a form of psychological therapy derived from the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness, focusing on promoting the acceptance of painful thoughts and feelings in service of living a meaningful life.

ACT skills encourage people to learn how to accept unpleasant thoughts and feelings, enabling them to focus on important goals and activities in their lives. There is increasing evidence for the effectiveness of ACT in managing a wide range of psychological difficulties.

What is manualised intervention?

Manualised ACT is being widely used to provide support to people with mild to moderate mental health problems.

Manualised interventions involve working through a standardised protocol with each client. Mental health support workers will guide clients through a booklet involving different modules targeting changes in various psychological processes.

Although the intervention should be largely standardised for each client, mental health support workers will slightly tailor the intervention to clients’ presenting problems and unique characteristics. The mode of treatment is based on the guided self-help model implemented in primary care services in other countries.

What will be required of my organisation, if we agree to host a practitioner?

Eligible host organisations will be required to:

  • Provide a space for the trainee practitioner to conduct sessions
  • Make a sufficient number of referrals to the trainee practitioner (minimum 27 youth over a 9 month period)
  • Have an existing referral system in place (e.g. via a qualified psychologist, social worker, or school counsellor) for:
    – youth requiring mental health support, with professionals who is experienced in mental health assessment;
    – onward referral to mental health services for youth requiring more intensive input from mental health professionals;

  • Be able to demonstrate local risk protocols that provide adequate support for youth experiencing mental health problems and those working with them.

Which youth are eligible to receive the intervention?

Youth experiencing mild to moderate emotional distress, who do not have access to any other interventions, are eligible. Youth receiving other support for their mental health are not eligible for the practitioner programme.

The reasons for this are:

1) In order to isolate the impact of the practitioner intervention and measure outcomes accurately, it is essential that the youth is not receiving any other intervention concurrently;

2) The target population for the practitioner intervention is those who are experiencing mild to moderate difficulties of low complexity. Those receiving intervention from another mental health worker are more likely to be of a higher level of complexity, and therefore not eligible for this programme.

For more information, please see the inclusion/exclusion criteria for the programme.

What training will the practitioners undergo?

The 2.5 weeks of intensive theoretical training will cover the following topics:

  • – Guided Self-Help
  • – Counselling skills
  • – Clinical risk management
  • – Using supervision
  • – Clinical documentation
  • – Mental health problems: Depression, Anxiety
  • – Other problems that may cause emotional distress: (e.g. Low self esteem, Exam anxiety)
  • – Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • – Delivering the ACT-based manualised intervention
  • – Ethics and Diversity
  • – The intervention: session by session, how to deliver, how to guide the youth through the manual
  • – Troubleshooting common difficulties, incl. managing endings and expectations
  • – Assessments
  • Whilst delivering the intervention during placements at host organisations, practitioners will continue to receive supervision.

How long is the intervention and what happens if youth reschedule or drop out?

The intervention is made up of 6 sessions and we recommend these sessions are held weekly or every two weeks.

We understand youth have other commitments and busy schedules, but it is imperative for the effectiveness of the ACT intervention that youths are engaging regularly with the programme. It is recommended that youth stick to the agreed schedule.

If a participant misses 2 or more sessions of intervention, then they will no longer be able to continue with the scheme.

Participants have the right to drop out, but they will no longer be able to rejoin afterwards, to prevent impacting the validity of the study.

What language will the interventions be delivered in?

Practitioners will be trained in English, but will be able to deliver the interventions in Cantonese, Mandarin, English or other ethnic minority languages.

How are treatment goals set and who can be involved in this process?

Treatment goals are set together with the youth who attend the sessions. If information is provided by external sources as part of the referral (e.g. parents or teachers), this will be incorporated into the goal-setting discussion where appropriate. However, the final targets and goals are set by the youth, with the support of their practitioner.

Values-based goals will be discussed at every session, and this will be discussed with the youth to encourage constant monitoring of progress.

Do parents and the counselling team get updates about the youth?

Updates on the youth’s progress will be given in line with current practice at the host organisation.

What kind of data will be collected and will this data be accessible?

Full clinical notes will be recorded during sessions and stored in line with the host organisation protocols.

Clinical data will be gathered and shared externally to researchers, which would provide data to support the practitioner project to run as a permanent programme in Hong Kong. Once this research study has been completed the results will be widely available.

All data will be anonymised and stored securely. There will be no descriptive information about school or patient identifiable information stored.

Should you have further questions, please email Rachel Wong, Mind HK YWP Project Coordinator, at [email protected] .