Jockey Club Online Youth Emotional Support

By February 1, 2018

Jockey Club Online Youth Emotional Support

Program Background

Suicide and suicidal attempts remain a critical public health issue with significant social and economic consequences.  In Hong Kong, the problem is particularly pressing among youth with suicide being the leading cause of death for youth aged 15-24.  A the same time, help-seeking patterns among youth in Hong Kong have shifted away from traditional suicide hotlines to social messaging and text-based channels as youths desire to maintain privacy, control, and “natural way” of expressing themselves.  Given these trends, the Program aims to take an innovative, technology-enabled approach to engage at-risk youth and address the needs of youth emotional risks and suicidal behavior.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has set aside $59.21 million for this three-year Program which launches in June 2018.  The Program celebrates great partnership between our center and three leading non-profit organizations, namely, Caritas Hong Kong,  The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, and The Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong.

Program Objectives and Components

The Program has the following objectives:

  1. Engage at-risk youth, especially those who otherwise do not seek help, with an online chat service;
  2. Engage and equip a community of suicide prevention gatekeepers who will look out for at-risk youth;
  3. Nurture and sustain a pool of volunteers with trained skills and competence in online crisis intervention;
  4. Increase at-risk youth’s awareness and improve their willingness to seek help early; and
  5. Improve the general youth population’s acceptance of seeking help for mental health issues.

The core components of the project includes:

  • 24/7 text-based crisis helpline
  • Volunteer recruitment and training for supporting the 24/7 text-based crisis helpline
  • Gatekeeper recruitment and training for identifying at-risk youth
  • Online resources include Web portal, Facebook and Instagram and publicity campaigns
  • Evaluation and knowledge dissemination.

Last update : February 1, 2018