Other Ways Out

Institution

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Team Members

CHUNG Daniel (Project Leader)
YAM Wun Kwan
GUPTA Yatin

Background

The team members have a strong ambition to promote mental health awareness and encourage help-seeking behavior among students who are having emotional distress or maybe suicidal tendencies.

Objective

The project first aimed to create a judgment-free community and uproot the social taboo on talking about mental illnesses in the public sphere. The team hoped to establish an open discussion on mental health at HKUST, where students can understand better of their emotions and of others. The project also aimed at promoting the benefits of being mentally healthy and how this can lead to better results and a higher quality of life. As a results, it could lead to more satisfaction, less anxiety, and further success. Another objective of the project was to provide community resources in different ways for the students who are seeking help.

Methodology

First, the activity ‘Wall of love’ was held in which students could post encouraging positive notes on a board for people to take away, and for every note people took away, they were told to write one in return, creating a renewing wall of love. An anonymous talk session called Talk in the Dark was also organized where students anonymously sent issues/problems that have been bothering them recently to the team, and in return, the team would provide a feedback on how to solve them during the talk. Finally, a prototype of a mobile application which students can use to relieve their stress through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was also developed.

Impacts and Outcomes

Activities such as Talk in the Dark enabled the spread of positivity among students on campus. Moreover, holding discussion on mental health issues of students, such as stressful work-life balance and combat anxiety, enabled the team to reach out to students and had a better understanding on the reasons why UST students were more reluctant to reach out for help. With activities such as Talk in the Dark, and Wall of Love, the awareness of mental health was promoted at school, through the receiving and delivering of positive messages to each other. In addition, students, who once tried to test the app, were empowered to take better control of their situation and utilize aspects of CBT.

Number of Beneficiaries

150 students