In a continuation of their commitment to alleviating the stigma surrounding mental health, Mind Hong Kong (Mind HK) have released new statistics from a large-scale survey on attitudes towards mental health in Hong Kong. The research surveyed 1,210 randomly selected adults across all regions of Hong Kong on their attitudes and knowledge of mental health in the city, using three internationally validated questionnaires.
These selected results have been unveiled for World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, 10 October, and provide insight into the full findings which will be released later this year.
1. Under 30% of respondents would be willing to live with someone with a mental health problem in the future (29%), however around two thirds of respondents would stay friends with someone if they developed a mental health problem in the future (64.8%).
2. Over 40% of respondents believed that one of the main causes of mental illness was a lack of self-discipline and willpower (41%).
3. Almost two thirds of respondents felt that it was easy to tell people with a mental illness apart from perceived ‘normal’ people (61.4%).
4. Despite this, most respondents felt that mental illness is like any other illness (89.4%). Similar levels believed that virtually anyone could become mentally ill (87%).
5. The large majority of respondents believed that attitudes towards mental illness needed to change. 89% agree that there is a need to adopt a far more tolerant attitude toward people with mental illness.
6. When asked about support systems, nearly three quarters of respondents stated that their workplaces did not provide any programmes of support for mental health needs for staff (73.4%). Around 60% of respondents stated that they did not know of any other sources of support for mental health apart from hospitals (60.4%).
The in-depth research commissioned by Mind HK was conducted in collaboration with Hong Kong University, the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (King’s College London) and Time to Change UK, and funded by Aetna International.
“Mental illness is something we should and need to be talking about more,” says Kevin Jones, Chief Executive of Aetna Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited. “We believe that everyone is equally deserving of affordable and accessible treatment for mental issues – as well as support from their employers, colleagues, families, and friends.”
Alongside this research, Mind HK have recently launched their #LetsTalk campaign, which asks for citywide community action to transform public perceptions around mental health. To get involved, anyone is encouraged to share an image of themselves or in a group with the hashtag #LetsTalk or #一齊傾 inside a speech bubble and tag back to #LetsTalk #一齊傾 #MindHK. This simple and positive way to increase conversation and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health problems could save a life.
“The first step to reducing stigma around mental health problems is by increasing conversation. In Hong Kong, we don’t talk openly enough about mental health problems and therefore the stigma is ever-present. The #LetsTalk campaign aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of how you can help. It’s time to start talking,” said Hannah Reidy, CEO of Mind HK.
For more information, head to the Mind Hong Kong website.
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