HK firms 'grossly' lagging on mental health support

Stigma against mental illness still runs high among residents

HK firms 'grossly' lagging on mental health support

Hong Kong workplaces are lagging on mental health support for employees – nearly 75% claim that their offices do not have an existing support program for staff.

Additionally, around 60% only know of hospitals as a source of mental health support, found Aetna International.

In conjunction with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, Aetna and Mind Hong Kong (Ming HK) released a study that highlighted the stigma surrounding mental illness in the city.

Over 40% of survey respondents believe that one of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and willpower. While two-thirds felt it was easy to identify people with a mental as compared to those who are “normal”.

Also, only 29% of Hong Kong residents would be willing to live with someone with a mental illness. However, around 65% would remain friends with someone who develops a mental health issue.

Positively, a large majority desire a change in attitudes towards mental illness, with 89% saying people need to be “far more tolerant” towards people suffering from it.

“Mental illness is something we should and need to be talking about more,” said Kevin Jones, chief executive at Aetna Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited. “We believe that everyone is equally deserving of affordable and accessible treatment for mental health issues – as well as support from their employers, colleagues, families and friends.”

Over in Singapore, much can also be desired of mental health support at workplaces, with only 27% of employers taking action to reduce work-related stress – the number one mental health issue here.

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