When compared with other age groups, young people are less likely to receive help from mental health professionals. Barriers to help-seeking include the lack of youth-friendly service platforms and high stigmatisation of mental disorders.
With this in mind, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has initiated and funded the LevelMind@JC project. It aims to establish a community-based and stigma-free youth mental wellness service model to support the evolving needs of young people aged 12 to 24.
With an approved donation of HK$295 million from the Trust, the project is coordinated by The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and youth workers from six non-governmental organisations – The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, Caritas Hong Kong, Hong Kong Playground Association, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, St. James’ Settlement, and Hong Kong Children & Youth Services.
Today (1 April) a ceremony was held to officially launch the project. Officiating guests included The Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director, Charities and Community, Leong Cheung and the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health, Wong Yan-lung.
Mr Cheung said the Club is committed to enhancing the community’s well-being and has been supporting a wide variety of projects over the years to address the needs of different age groups. “The LevelMind@JC project provides comfortable and safe spaces for young people experiencing distress. In this stigma-free environment, they are able to relax and recharge. The project also helps to boost their cognitive resources, personal strengths and overall mental wellness,” said Mr Cheung.
The LevelMind@JC project has specifically designed a three-tier service model to identify and provide early intervention through diverse stress-free educational outreach activities. It also provides referral consultation services and follow-up medical support based on individual needs. In collaboration with the social welfare and medical sectors, the project seeks to increase public awareness about youth mental wellness and foster a caring and inclusive community.
The project has eight community-based, youth-specific mental wellness hubs around Hong Kong. These hubs are designed with input from young people to provide stigma-free and youth-friendly spaces for young people to relax, connect and seek help from mental health professionals. About 8,400 young people are expected to benefit from the project.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2019/20, the Club contributed HK$19.9 billion in duty and profits tax and HK$0.8 billion to the Lotteries Fund. Approved charity donations were HK$4.5 billion. The Club is Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer and one of the city’s major employers. Its Charities Trust is also one of the world’s top ten charity donors. The Club is always “riding high together for a better future” with the people of Hong Kong.
Club Executive Director, Charities and Community, Leong Cheung said the Club is committed to enhancing the community’s well-being and has been supporting a wide variety of projects over the years to address the needs of different age groups.