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Where to find mental health resources in Hong Kong

By Localiiz 7 December 2019 | Last Updated 19 March 2024

Header image courtesy of Mitch (via Unsplash)

Originally published by Inés Fung. Last updated by Lily Valette.

A lot of people struggle with mental health problems, especially with the number of daily stressors experienced by those of us living in Hong Kong. According to a government-commissioned study conducted by the Chinese University, which surveyed over 6,000 young Hongkongers, 24.4 per cent of children aged six to 17 struggled with a mental health issue at least once over the past year.

In 2022, the average mental health score in Hong Kong was 47.64, a figure below WHO’s Well-Being Index passing score of 52. However, what was once a taboo is slowly becoming more mainstream, and with the rise in demand and support, there are more and more conversations surrounding mental health in Hong Kong.

If you or someone you know has been looking into getting help, we’ve compiled this guide to mental health services that are available in Hong Kong. Please note that this guide does not claim to be exhaustive and we only desire to help point our readers in the right direction if they are seeking help.

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Take care of yourself and your loved ones! If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or require emergency assistance, help is available. Call the Mental Health Support Hotline at 18111, 999, or the hotlines below for immediate attention.

Source: Shall We Talk

Can’t call? The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong also provide an online chat for emotional support and suicide prevention, and Open Up provides round-the-clock support to those aged 11 to 35 via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or via text message at (+852) 9101 2012.

Public resources

Hospital Authority

To receive medical assistance at the Hong Kong public hospitals or clinics that offer psychiatric services for any psychiatric issues, you first need to be referred by your GP or family healthcare professional. A full list of primary care providers can be found here. A meeting with a specialist can then be arranged, and then a triage determination of urgency. The waiting time for a referral to outpatient services at a psychiatric specialist outpatient clinic, at the time of writing this article, can be found below:

Source: Hospital Authority

If your case is urgent and requires immediate attention, you may check yourself into any public hospital via A&E or by calling 999. You will either be voluntarily admitted (by giving consent) or involuntarily committed (under doctors’ orders). If you have specialised issues, you may be referred to Castle Peak Hospital, which provides treatment for substance abuse as well as mental health problems for children, adolescents, and the elderly in Hong Kong.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 15 to 25 may be experiencing symptoms of psychosis, the Hospital Authority offers the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) Programme. If psychosis is treated early, the chances of it becoming severe or developing further complications are reduced. Contact the EASY hotline at (+852) 2928 3283 for public enquiries and case referrals. Seeking help via public hospitals and clinics is an affordable option if you do not require urgent care. Fee charts can be found here for reference.

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Social Welfare Department

The Social Welfare Department provides free clinical psychology services. Call the 24-hour hotline at (+852) 2343 2255 if you require immediate assistance or to arrange a meeting, or visit the Integrated Family Services Centre in your district for a screening and referral to one of the six neighbourhood Clinical Psychology Units.

If you’d just like to drop in for free mental wellness services, you can pay a visit to the Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness in your district. If you are struggling with substance abuse, the Department of Health operates a voluntary outpatient methadone treatment programme across districts in Hong Kong. The Social Welfare Department also subvents 11 counselling centres for psychotropic substance abusers and two centres for drug counselling. The Hospital Authority runs substance abuse clinics out of seven public hospitals.

Private resources

A comprehensive list of registered and practising psychiatrists in Hong Kong can be found here. Please note that if you decide to seek help in the private sector, fees range anywhere from $600 to $3,000 per session.

Counselling

You don’t have to suffer from mental illness to seek out therapy. Sometimes, it’s just nice to talk to someone who can give you an unbiased perspective on the issues that you’re stuck on, and help you to understand and cope while developing a plan to tackle these issues.

St John’s Cathedral Counselling Services and ReSource: The Counselling Centre are both non-denominational counselling centres that offer sliding-scale fees and multilingual counselling for a range of issues like grief counselling and family group therapy.

Central Minds is a private psychology, counselling, and physical therapy practice that provides high-quality care through integrated and personalised clinical therapy practice and treatment plans to meet individual needs. It also provides play therapy room for children to treat behavioural and learning struggles.

The Hong Kong Psychological Counselling Center is a trilingual private centre offering a range of psychiatric and psychological counselling services that can be arranged within seven days. In addition to basic therapy, it also offers art therapy, child IQ assessments, and online video call counselling services.

Addictions

The Cabin Hong Kong is a specialist outpatient addiction treatment centre located in Central. It provides discreet and confidential tackle types of addiction ranging from alcohol abuse to sex addiction. A full list of private voluntary inpatient drug rehabilitation programmes can be found here.

If you want to find out more about mental health, local charity Mind HK is a great place to start. The charity’s “Mental Health A to Z” service provides information on a wide range of diagnoses. Find the list here.

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