Game of tones: You matter, we care (2nd runner-up)

Institution

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Team Members

Dalinda Isabel Sanchez Vidana (Project Leader)
Shilpa Gurung
Daniel Kwasi Ahorsu
Donald Lipardo
Pablo Cruz Gonzalez
Sachin Shende
Harun Venkatesan
Shah Parth Bharat

Professional Advisor

Dr. LIT Siu Wai
Head
Office of Counselling and Wellness,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Ms Fung Wing Lam, Wing
Assistant Counsellor
Office of Counselling and Wellness
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Background

At the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the demanding and competitive working environment of international standards is a source of stress for the students. Thus, this project targeted the research student population and aiming at improving their stress and emotional management in a healthy manner.

Furthermore, students come from mainland and overseas have to quickly adapt to a different work and cultural environment, but time required for adaptation is very limited. Also, postgraduate and research students have to fulfill very high standards in their research to successfully complete the programme which brings a lot of pressure to the students.

In the past years, several tragic suicide events have taken place at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where higher number of research students have made the fatal decision to end their lives.

Taking all of the above and through the implementing various activities, this project aims to reduce stress level, increase the importance of help seeking behaviour among research students and hall students. These allow students at polytechnic university feel relaxed and important.

Objectives

The aim of this project is to create a safe and comfortable environment for the students to express their feelings and concerns, to raise the awareness about mental health, the importance of seeking help and helping others and to stimulate students to talk about their concerns and feelings. Moreover, it also hopes to coach students through the various workshops using objective oriented training and to provide students with tools for self-help.

Methodology

The project involved 2 approaches namely “Inside-out” and “Outside–in”.

Inside-out Approach provides students with a safe and comfortable atmosphere to express their feelings, concerns and release stress. Activities included kick boxing and rap in the dark.

Outside-in approach encourages students to learn several ways on how to deal with stress, to identify negative emotions, to learn safe ways to release negative emotions and strategies to gain strength to face difficult situations. Activities such as Progressive muscle relaxation and meditation.

The project was carried out in 2 phases. In phase 1, the target population were research students and the project scaled to all the hall students of both halls in phase 2.

Workshops were first focused on research students due to the increasing incidence of suicide attempted by research students in the past years

Goodie bags containing useful leaflets, information on mental health prevention, hotlines and other important information were given to all the participants as well as an extra goodie bag, where they can share the learning as well as spread the awareness among their non-participating friends.

Before and after activities assessment were conducted.

Impacts and Outcomes

The participants experienced activities that helped them release stress and learnt new techniques to get relaxed and manage their emotions in times of distress. In addition, these workshops served as a platform for participants to share their thoughts and feelings regarding their concerns, situations that caused their emotional distress. The activities carried out in the project provided a safe environment for participants to express and interact with each other, which in turn motivated them to support peers and friends, and brushed up skills on listening, empathy and positive interpersonal communication. The research finding of the assessments conducted indicated positive impact on the participants regarding mental health awareness and promoting help seeking behavior.

Number of Beneficiaries

360 participants