Staff Sharing | KELY

Serving as part of Project Connect at KELY has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Over the past six months, a lot of young people reached out to us were struggled with school-related issues. It is widely recognised that today's youth, especially in the post-pandemic era, face numerous school challenges. These problems, such as interpersonal conflicts, academic stress, and identity issues, can exert immense pressure on students and negatively impact their mental health. What is particularly alarming is the reluctance of students to discuss these issues at home, fearing that their vulnerabilities might disappoint or worry their family members. This perceived lack of support often compels them to seek assistance beyond their immediate network.

Frequently, young individuals in need are uncertain about the type of support they require when they approach us. Some might merely need an empathetic ear, others might be contemplating clinical intervention, while some may seek advice on supporting a friend struggling with mental health issues. Thankfully, Project Connect goes beyond simply matching young people with suitable and available counselling services. The distinguishing feature of Project Connect is our team’s unwavering commitment to acting as a peer supporter. We aim to guide these young individuals every step of the way, present them with available options, and ensure they feel secure and valued throughout their help-seeking journey.

Of course, there have been times where young people decided to put a pause on their search for support services. We firmly believe that change must come from within. Therefore, when a young person doesn't feel ready for counselling, we respect their decision. In such scenarios, we usually take a step back, try to discuss their concerns with them and explore how we might assist.

Ultimately, our goal is to show these young individuals that we genuinely care for their wellbeing and that we stand ready to assist whenever needed. Project Connect is far more than a simple referral service; we aim to bridge the gap in mental health resources for youth in Hong Kong. We also strive to cultivate a more interconnected support system for those in need and render the help-seeking process less daunting and intimidating for everyone.

Project Connect Staff, 2023

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