Thanks to the generous donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (NLPRA), The Chinese University of Hong Kong and StoryTaler jointly launched the Jockey Club Tour Heart Project in September 2017. The project aims to establish an online self-help psychological support platform (www.jctourheart.org) to promote mental health, anti-stigmatization and to handle emotional distress. The platform provides appropriate advice and trainings according to individual's mental health status, which include:
To raise mental health awareness and clarify misunderstandings about mental illness (General public)
To improve mental health and facilitate personal growth (all members)
To prevent depression and anxiety symptoms (members with mild to moderate emotional distress)
To handle emotional distress in early stage (members with moderate to severe emotional distress)
NLPRA also provides eGPS service for individuals suffering from emotional distress. eGPS facilitates learning to alleviate users' distress and gradually relieve their anxiety or depression. It is a guided self-help psychological programme, in reference to United Kingdom's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). Its service includes providing psychological assessment and early interventions which encompasses guided self-help therapy and psychoeducation groups.
IAPT is a psychological treatment developed under the Stepped Care Mode, it allows people in needs to get assess to reliable psychotherapy and services as quickly as possible. Since its implementation in Doncaster and Newham, UK, in 2008, IAPT service has quickly expanded to 11 other locations in the United Kingdom in 6 months, benefiting 43, 000 people.
Statistics show that recovery rate of IAPT reaches 50%, and individuals on average receive only five sessions of "guided self-help treatment" to achieve the outcome. "Guided self-help treatment" uses the principle of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to improve depression and anxiety in an easy-to-learn way. These treatments, at the same time, meet UK's NICE Guidelines' standard and are supported by clinical evidence. IAPT is now fully implemented in the UK, and is promoted in Australia with the name "New Access". Its effectiveness is equally significant.
Depression and anxiety are the most common mood problems in Hong Kong. According the Hong Kong Mental Morbility Survey conducted in 2015 (Lam, Wong, Wan, Chan, Chen, Ng et al., 2015), 13.3% of Hong Kong population (which equals to 950,000 people) suffer from varied types of mood disorders in any given week. Their age ranges from 16 to 75, with the majority of those aged from 26 to 35. However, less than 30% of these individuals receive mental health services (Cheung & Law, 2011).
In 2014, NLPRA worked with the Department of Psychology of CUHK to study the feasibility of implementing IAPT in Hong Kong. Our clinical psychologists went to the UK to train for low-intensity psychotherapy - "Guided self-help" - to develop a localized eGPS programme. This is a new form of psychologtherapy which allow people with depression and anxiety to get quality psychological services. Individuals that require higher intensity of psychotherapy will be referred to other suitable services. Our psychological well-being officers will also introduce other suitable services to individuals in need.
Goals of eGPS:
Provide guided self-help psychotherapies based on the cognitive behavioral model to enhance both accessibility and availability of evidence-based mental health services to people who have not received psychological treatments.
Provide simple and direct referral methods, including self-registration
To broaden current scope of mental health service by recruiting individuals that traditional therapy is difficult to reach, especially individuals who are currently employed and experience emotional distress. Our services are provided in a flexible manner, which include interviews, telephone interviews, video calls etc.
To establish a professional team of Psychological Well-being Officer
Lam, L. C. W., Wong, C. S. M., Wang, M. J., Chan, W. C., Chen, E. Y. H., Ng, R. M. K., ... & Lam, M. (2015). Prevalence, psychosocial correlates and service utilization of depressive and anxiety disorders in Hong Kong: the Hong Kong Mental Morbidity Survey (HKMMS). Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50, 1379-1388.
Cheung, F & Law, S. (2011, March). Integrating Mental Health Service in Health Care Reform. Oral presentation presented at International Conference on Health Care Reform, Hong Kong.