To coincide with World Mental Health Day, which was 10 October 2020, Mind Hong Kong (Mind HK) launched ‘#BehindTheMask’, a campaign that addresses the critical objective of normalising the wide range of feelings Hongkongers are experiencing amidst the pandemic, inspiring them to speak up and seek support for their mental health.
One part of the campaign included a short film. Due to the pandemic, wearing an emotional “mask” in Hong Kong has become part of daily life; masks hide a person’s expressions, as well as their true feelings. The film, and overall campaign, focuses on Hongkongers and what they are feeling, then compares what they can see (with the mask on) and what they can’t see (behind the mask) through a short film. The film follows a young woman as she goes about her day in Hong Kong, feeling uncertain and questioning what emotions passers-by are hiding behind their masks. With each person she passes and wonders about, viewers learn through voice over how different their inner thoughts are from their outward appearances.
To engage the community and encourage people to express their true feelings and emotions under their mask, Mind HK also launched an Instagram filter. This relatable approach allows people to easily express how they feel and inspire others to openly do so as well.
In addition to raising awareness, the #behindthemask campaign also includes dedicated mental health support initiatives to provide direct support to those in need. The COVID Mental Health Relief Scheme, a partnership with the COVID mental health relief committee, volunteer qualified clinicians in Hong Kong’s private and public practices, is offering short-term pro bono mental health support to those that have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly low income groups and those in quarantine centres or hospitalised. The second programme is Help Me, Mind HK’s new virtual mental health assistant that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make access to information on mental health and support easier to find and more readily available to the Hong Kong public.
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