Hong Kong: City has taken 'wrong track' on mental health

Posted on February 27, 2014

Photo: flickr

The government is being urged to set up a mental-health commission to manage the problems of long-term patients and fill the gap left by the present lack of an overall strategy.

The call from the Hong Kong Mental Health Council said current policy concentrated on medical services but neglected community-based ones.

"The government is not on the right track," council convener Dr Chan Chung-mau said. "The lack of co-ordination between medical treatment and follow-up support for patients and their families makes the patients' journey to recovery very difficult."

Psychiatrists have called repeatedly in the past for a long-term mental-health policy, especially after a series of family tragedies and violent episodes involving the mentally ill.

The government in 2010 announced the planned establishment of 24 Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness in the city's 18 districts. It also introduced a case-management programme under the Hospital Authority, to handle high-risk patients after they went home.

By the end of last year, the case-management programme had been implemented in 15 out of 18 districts. But staff have been complaining of a lack of suitable premises or of a clear idea of who they should be helping.

The council plans to submit a paper to the government next month urging the establishment of a committee or a commission to make overall arrangements for mental-health policy.

Click on the link below to read the full article

Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from South China Morning Post