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We are grateful to the Weez Project for choosing KELY Support Group as their charity beneficiary of the Weez Walk 2022, a 62 km walking challenge around the Hong Kong Island Coastal Trail. The event took place between late January and early March, and featured over 720 hikers and runners who committed to “Be The One,” raising awareness of youth mental health issues, suicide ideation and to overcome the stigma associated with these issues.
The event raised over HK$ 2.1 m, and the funds will be used to help our young people develop essential life skills, including mental health wellbeing and positive youth development, as well as providing public education and awareness to help overcome stigma around mental illness and suicide.
Weez Walk was established in 2021 by Tony Bruno, co-founder of The Weez Project, as a personal campaign to raise funds for KELY and our vital work in helping the young people of Hong Kong manage and overcome mental health challenges. With the support of corporate and other partners, Weez Walk 2022 was launched and has been an unparalleled success.
Suicide, suicide attempts and suicide ideation has seen a worsening trend over the past three years amongst all ages in Hong Kong, but particularly in Hong Kong youth. While the contributing factors are many and complex, mental health is undeniably a key one, as shown by a survey of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in 2021, in which more than half of secondary school students interviewed showed signs of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
We support the Weez Project’s theme this year that everyone in society can play a part and "Be the One" to push back against the stigma of mental illness, to look out for others, provide support and help, and to raise funds for our preventative programmes.
“The journey on the weez walk was the perfect opportunity to bring unashamed conversation and spotlight on mental health and suicide prevention. It was great to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk (all 68 km!) to continually normalize what is a common experience for so many people, and to serve as a reminder that you are not alone!” —— Timothy Woo, Individual
"Three KWM disputes lawyers and our personal trainer Anthony were proud to walk for this vital cause. The response to our fundraiser from colleagues and friends was overwhelming. We were particularly moved by donations from support staff members, who earn relatively little. We also discovered parts of Hong Kong we never knew - a waterfall close to Central; the endless ceramic gods near Repulse Bay, etc." —— DISPUTE RESOLUTION AT KING & WOOD MALLESONS @ Corporate Team
“Kyle’s hearing loss urged me to take every opportunity to educate people about the importance of breaking stigmas in Hong Kong. Seeing schools shutting down and sports activities being cut off for children, I saw Weez Walk as a golden opportunity for Kyle.” —— Robyn Lamsam @ Team Convery, Family & Non-corporate Team
“In my own life, I have witnessed how the loss of a life to suicide impacts families, friends and neighbours. Just as suicide doesn’t simply affect an individual, but ripples through everyone bereaved by it. It's an issue that can only be tackled by the efforts of an entire community. Together we can make a small but badly needed contribution to this area of youth mental health.” —— Charlotte Chan @ Tooth Paced (HKU Dental Students), Schools & Universities Team
Check out a load of awesome pictures from our Weez Walk participants HERE!
The Weez Project also supports street art as a powerful means of promoting mental wellbeing. Their association since 2019 with HKWalls, a non-profit arts organisation, has resulted in several commissioned art pieces on display around Hong Kong. This year, thanks to the generosity of AIA Vitality Park, two incredible art installations were created along the Weez Walk route, both with a theme of mental health wellbeing. “Better Days” by local street artist Xeme, and the “Weez Heart” by Cath Love highlight positive outcomes to mental health issues. Both installations can be seen at the entrance to AIA Vitality Park.
Check out the artists and art pieces HERE.
The Weez Project is a community group which is working to increase awareness of youth mental health issues and campaigning to prevent suicide.
Weez Project was set up in memory of Jamie Bruno, a vibrant and creative young man. Sadly, Jamie’s life was cut short far too young when he took his own life. The Weez Project ‘s mission is to provide help and support for young people in Hong Kong who are facing mental health challenges, especially those who are contemplating self-harm or suicide. The aim is to encourage young people to know how to help themselves and their friends, educate teachers and parents to know more about mental health issues, and advocate for improvements in youth mental health.