Hospital Authority urges public support for mental health rehabilitation and stigma reduction

AI generated image for illustration purpose only.

3rd June 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hospital Authority (HA) has expressed its concern over recent incidents involving psychiatric patients and has offered its condolences to the affected citizens and families of the deceased. The HA has committed to supporting citizens in need and enhancing psychiatric services through a review of treatments, rehabilitation services, and procedures. The HA will also maintain close communication with stakeholders related to psychiatric services and provide appropriate support to patients in need.

The HA has always attached great importance to the needs of psychiatric patients and encourages the public to pay attention to their mental health and seek medical or professional help as soon as possible if needed. The multidisciplinary teams of professionals provide appropriate community support to patients, including mental health assessment, symptom managementrelapse preventionmedication managementcrisis interventionstress management, physical and mental health education, and more. Case managers also assist patients in setting goals and recovery-oriented plans to facilitate their reintegration through regular outreach and home visits and close collaboration with community partners.

The Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee in Psychiatry, Dr Anna Wu, said, “Having regard to patients’ severity of the condition and clinical needs and risks, the multidisciplinary teams provide appropriate community support to patients, including mental health assessment, symptom management, relapse prevention, medication management, crisis intervention, stress management, physical and mental health education and etc.” Dr Wu added that, through regular outreach and home visits, as well as close collaboration with community partners, case managers will assist patients in setting goals and recovery-oriented plans to facilitate their reintegration.

The representative of the Coordinating Committee in Psychiatry, Dr Bonnie Siu, appeals to the public to join hands with healthcare professionals to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of patients with mental illness through strengthening support and understanding and reducing stigmatisation. Dr Siu emphasises that the majority of stable mental patients who have recovered from mental illness can reintegrate into society, and serious attacks on strangers are very rare. The HA provides psychiatric services in a team approach, including inpatient and outpatient services, ambulatory rehabilitation training, and community support. Psychiatric outpatient clinics have implemented triage arrangements to prioritise patients with urgent conditions requiring earlier diagnosis and treatment.