In the wake of World Mental Health Day, we’d like to talk about mental health. Take a moment here to breathe, be aware of your emotions, and ask yourself the question: are you feeling okay? If the honest answer is “not really”, read on to see how you can give your mental well-being a boost. If your answer is “yes”: great! Read on anyway to see how you can keep it that way, and support those around you who are struggling.
Let’s be real for a bit: urban living is tough. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in; our work culture dictates some pretty insane hours when compared to global standards; raising a child here is a venture that is both stressful and expensive; education is highly competitive, and no longer a guarantee for a good job; and being in the midst of constant hustle and bustle without time to unwind can really wear you down. Small wonder, then, that according to recent studies, 61 percent of Hongkongers are considered as having “poor mental well-being”.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a handy guide for looking after your mental health. Remember, your mind is no less important than your body, so if you can make the effort to work out and keep fit, do also take the time to take care of your mental well-being.
In Hong Kong, there is still a social stigma surrounding mental health. A lot of issues regarding depression, anxiety, and mood- or trauma-related disorders are brushed under the carpet in the hopes that they will simply disappear if ignored for long enough. Needless to say, this is not a healthy way of dealing with things in the slightest.
Mind Hong Kong has therefore launched their #HowOkayAreYou campaign for World Mental Health Day, with the aim to inspire open conversations and change the general public’s preconceived notions about mental health. Although the day proper has already come and gone, looking after mental health should be an ongoing effort.
As most of you will already know, in Hong Kong society, the common response given to the question “How are you?” will always be “Okay”—regardless of what the honest answer is. By adding #HowOkayAreYou to the script, Mind Hong Kong encourages an honest reflection of feelings and a truer response.
In a fun little way to make talking about a difficult topic somewhat easier to digest, they have also launched a selection of WhatsApp stickers, created in collaboration with eight local illustrators. By offering the vocabulary and visual stimuli to identify how they feel, the hope is that users will feel more comfortable talking about and responding to feelings and mental health in general. Click here to learn more about the campaign and join the conversation.