iHappyU

Institution

The University of Hong Kong

Team Members

Chan Chun Yin, Neil (Project Leader)
Cheung Sum Lik
Li Yik Sum
Fung Kin Wing, Gary
Mok Wing Sze

Professional Advisor

Ms. Huy Sau Hing
Social work and Counselling
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Background

iHappyU leverages on the idea of positive psychology, pay it forward and the model of PERMA (P- Positive, E- Engagement, R- Relationship, M- Meaning, A- Accomplishments, Seligman) to facilitate youngsters to organize self-help and prevent them from committing suicide. The alarming situation of teenagers committing suicide in recent year cannot be ignored. Project members of iHappyU understand the pressure and sadness that youngsters and students are facing. They hope that by iHappyU, peers with suicidal risk can be reached and to deliver a strong message to them – there are people who care about them.

Objectives

iHappyU wants to encourage the sharing of happiness and care between individuals; thereby encourage students to seek help when having emotional distress or feeling suicidal. However, not only focusing on university students, iHappyU can also easily be introduced into the society and improve the happiness level of the society – Hong Kong as a whole. Their objectives are as follow:

  • Reach out to 3000+ university students and the public, to promote happiness and care, preventing youngsters from having suicidal thoughts
  • Foster positive emotion in universities and public through positive psychology, pay it forward and the model: PERMA
  • Enhance public awareness on mental health issues through photo areas, street booths and exhibitions at local universities and public area

Methodology

iHappyU card were given to a person with thematic questions listed on it, for example “If happiness is something that you can pass, who do you want to pass it to?”. Subjects were asked to scan the QR code in order to visit iHappyU website, and to write grateful and caring messages to the person that they were thinking about. They were then told to pass the card to that particular person so he or she could scan the QR code and read their messages. This can be repeated by passing the card to another person. The value of iHappyU card is to provide an opportunity for people to trigger an individual to perform acts of kindness through the writing of gratitude messages.

Along with the card, campaigns were held at The University of Hong Kong, where iHappyU card were distributed to people. Exhibition and booths were set up to promote public awareness on suicide prevention and mental health information.

At the booth, foam boards were provided for people to write about a positive situation. Photos were taken and posted on social media i.e. Facebook, where friends of the subject were tagged. In this way, the photo taking enabled students to express gratitude to others.

Impacts and Outcomes

Participants’ showed positive amusement and responses when they learnt about the project and after the iHappyU card demonstrations at the booth. They also showed positive emotions as they started using the card. In addition, participants’ emotion was promoted due to the accumulated messages through the frequent use of iHappuU card.

iHappyU card also provided an alternative and innovative way to care people. Based on feedbacks and descriptive data from questionnaires, iHappyU card was effective in enhancing relationship among friends and families.

Although the project was launched in HKU, it also attracted public participants coming in the booth. These people were more willing to listen to project ideas and to stay in the booth, thus giving a larger impact. They think, through the promotion, people were inspired to understand more about mental health, the project relevance and the society as a whole. Hence, promote public awareness.

Number of Beneficiaries

1183 participants