At a time when mental health support has never been more pivotal globally, Hong Kong welcomes a pioneering online destination for young people to learn about mental health and get access to help: Coolminds (www.coolmindshk.com). A joint initiative between Mind HK and KELY Support Group, Coolminds promotes mental health awareness, support and understanding in Hong Kong’s youth, and those around them.
With one in sixyoung Hong Kongers suffering from depression, anxiety or stress, Coolminds brings mental health resources and support to youth, parents and educators in Hong Kong. The bilingual Coolminds website offers a wider array of useful information, resources and links, many of which have been localised and translated from Coolminds’ international partner organisations, including renowned mental health organisations Orygen, Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, Batyr, and the Black Dog Institute.
Coolminds resources range from mental wellbeing tips, to factsheets about conditions like depression and anxiety, to a directory linking young people to vital mental health support. Currently, there are also resources about staying well during the coronavirus outbreak, including downloadable e-booklets “A Young Person’s Guide to Staying Well During the Coronavirus Outbreak” and “A Teachers and Educators Guide: The Mental Health Effects of COVID-19”.
Coolminds encourages young people to share their voice and speak openly about their mental health experiences, providing training to encourage such sharing. Their “Clear the Clouds” initiative, which is currently in development, will be a two-day workshop, where young people will learn to share their lived experiences with mental health in closed settings and events. Online, the Coolminds blog is filled with articles and personal stories from local teens and university students talking about self-care, exam pressures, bullying and more. Every young person in Hong Kong is invited to check it out and submit their own blog or story.
To holistically empower the communities and systems surrounding young people, Coolminds organises workshops for students, parents and educators – known as a “whole-school approach”. The workshop series is designed to target the different kinds of people who coexist within a young person’s community, providing access to local resources and giving everyone a common language to speak about mental health. Workshops are led in English and Cantonese by mental health education trainers from Mind HK and KELY Support Group.
As part of its outreach, Coolminds will deliver educational workshops around youth mental health for local and international schools in Hong Kong, who serve Chinese and English speaking populations, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as the general public. Thanks to the generous support of Morgan Stanley, Operation Santa Claus, MINDSET of the Jardine Matheson Group and the Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball 2018, Coolminds is now offering students, parents and educators free webinar workshop and working with their youth ambassadors to develop additional events and programmes to further support Hong Kong’s youth, including a Youth Summit in November 2020. Their workshop material has been adapted to include tips and discussions around the challenges of COVID-19 and how to care for mental health at this unprecedented time. To learn more about Coolminds workshops and webinars or to organise an event, get in touch with Coolminds at firstname.lastname@example.org.