Hong Kong College of Technology (HKCT)
SO Woon Lam (Project Leader)
Yu Chun Wai
Fung Kit Yee
Ho Hon Yu Henry
Tse Ching Ting
Chau Mun Chu Cher
Department Head of Student Development
Hong Kong College of Technology
According to several theories in biological psychology, it has been suggested that physical exercises can aid one to release stress, and can also increase their happiness, and reducing depression and anxiety level. Physical exercises, in addition, enable the buildup of confidence level and self-image of individuals, which may lead to an increase of problem-solving ability. With all the above mentioned, the project team felt an urge to hold a series of group physical exercise activities and workshops to raise students’ awareness of mental health, and increase their stress tolerance abilities in dealing with difficulties in daily lives.
The project aimed to promote healthy lifestyle in both mental and physical aspects, raise awareness of self and peers’ mental condition, build up an environment of mutual support and peer counseling, and encourage positive thinking to enhance resilience.
First, the team recruited 11 mental health ambassadors, including alumni and current students to set up booths during exam week. The team designed and prepared souvenirs, drinks and refreshments to encourage their peers on campus throughout this stressful period of time. They also made herbal tea and sweet soups for students, and set up a board for teachers and students to share encouraging words to each other. In addition, six mental health first aid courses and one positive psychology workshop were held. The team also organized three activities based on the theme Let’s Move It, including Canoe courses, Yoga classes and cycling team.
Impacts and Outcomes
The project successfully promoted individuals’ self-growth and happiness. “Let’s move it” included exciting activities, such as yoga classes and canoe courses, which attracted students to challenge themselves. From these breakthrough experiences, students were able to enhance their self-confidence and willingness in trying novel activities. Most importantly, majority of the participants reported they felt satisfied and relaxed afterwards. This strongly suggested that participants who took part in regular sports could lead to an enhancement of happiness level.
Moreover, the project also promoted mutual support between HKCT students. In the mental health course, students, especially Mental Health Ambassadors, were trained with basic knowledge of mental health, positive psychology and counseling skills. They were taught to guide the promotion of mental health activities and were capable of providing peer counseling to fellow students. Due to their efforts, a positive atmosphere of mutual support on campus had been created, in particular, during the exam weeks. Students and teachers were impressed by the souvenirs and drinks. Most of them felt to be empowered and relaxed. Also, students enjoyed sharing and reading encouraging messages for one and other, which led to establishing a supportive and positive social network.
Besides, the project also showed care and support to the target group. Students with different mental conditions were encouraged to join mental health courses and activities, in aim of increasing their skills in self-help and problem-solving. Despite there were only a minority of them joined the workshops, it can be observed that the self-care awareness of participants had been increased.
Number of Beneficiaries