Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mood problems in Hong Kong. According to the Hong Kong Mental Morbility Survey conducted in 2015 (Lam, Wong, Wan, Chan, Chen, Ng et al., 2015), 13.3% of Hong Kong population (which equals to 950,000 people) suffer from varied types of mood disorders in any given week. Their age ranges from 16 to 75, with the majority of those aged from 26 to 35. According to study published by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong in 2020, adults suffered from probable depression went up to approximately 11.2% by the end of 2019 (Ni et al., 2020).However, less than 30% of people with mood disorder receive mental health services (Lam et al,, 2015).
In 2014, New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (NLPRA) worked with the Department of Psychology of CUHK to study the feasibility of implementing United Kingdom's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in Hong Kong. Our clinical psychologists went to the UK to train for low-intensity psychotherapy - "guided self-help" - to develop a localized eGPS programme.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has funded New Life and the Department of Psychology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong to launch the Jockey Club Tourheart Project since 2017. With further funding support from the Trust in 2020, New Life will launch the Jockey Club eGPS Psychological Support Project （eGPS）which will enhance the ‘stepped care model’ featured in the Tourheart Project.
eGPS utilizes Wellness Recovery Action Plan® to equip the general public with mental well-being management skills. We also endeavour to provide assessment and early psychological intervention to people with mild to moderate depressive and anxiety symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-established evidence-based psychological intervention over the decades. With the guidance of Psychological Well-being Officer, service users will learn how to use the CBT effectively and flexibly to improve their emotion and reduce psychological burden. In addition, high-intensity psychological intervention and referral service will be provided for individuals who are suffering from severe or complicated common mental disorder. Through the triage system individual could access to suitable psychological services in an effective manner.
Goals of eGPS:
To promote and maintain mental well-being of general public
To provide guided self-help psychotherapies based on the cognitive behavioral model to enhance both accessibility and availability of evidence-based mental health services to people who have not received psychological treatments.
To provide evidence-based high-intensity therapy groups for people with severe or multiple mood problems
To provide simple and direct referral methods, including self-registration
To broaden current scope of mental health service by recruiting individuals that traditional therapy is difficult to reach, especially individuals who are currently employed and experiencing emotional distress. Our services are provided in a flexible manner, which include interviews, telephone interviews, video calls etc.
To establish a professional team of Psychological Well-being Officer
Lam, L. C. W., Wong, C. S. M., Wang, M. J., Chan, W. C., Chen, E. Y. H., Ng, R. M. K., ... & Lam, M. (2015). Prevalence, psychosocial correlates and service utilization of depressive and anxiety disorders in Hong Kong: the Hong Kong Mental Morbidity Survey (HKMMS). Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50, 1379-1388.
Ni, M. Y., Yao, X. I., Leung, K. S. M., Yau, C., Leung, C. M. C., Lun, P., … Leung, G. M. (2020). Depression and post-traumatic stress during major social unrest in Hong Kong: a 10-year prospective cohort study. The Lancet. 395. 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)33160-5