Adolescence Mental Health in Hong Kong

Owing to the highly competitive environment, over-emphasis on academic achievement, changes in family structures and parenting styles, as well as the rapid development of information technology, adolescents in Hong Kong are facing high level of uncertainty and stress. A recent study on the stress level of adolescents in Hong Kong (Youth Research Centre, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, 2017) reveals that over 20% of the interviewed adolescents have reported extreme level of stress and feeling anxious frequently. As a result of high stress, isolation and interpersonal conflicts, psychological symptoms such as deterioration of mood, insomnia, increased irritability and loss of motivation emerged among adolescents. Physical symptoms including skin allergy, headaches, stomachache have also been reported as a result of stress. Alarmingly, some of them even reported self-harm and suicidal ideation.

How I-BMS Approach Enhances Adolescence Mental Health?

The I-BMS team of has developed a ‘Compassion Workshop for Adolescence’ to nurture self-compassion among young people. The workshop includes meaning-focused experiential exercises such as mind-quieting, labyrinth walking and contemplative dialogue would be applied, allowing adolescents to make positive orientations on their life path, to embrace the past and previous sufferings, to consolidate spiritual wellness and engage in meaningful human interactions. This workshop aims to help adolescents become more compassionate towards oneself, which in turn increases their capability in coping with stress and negative life events. The effect of self-compassion on coping has been supported, especially in positive cognitive restructuring, which people who are more self-compassionate would be less likely to catastrophize negative situations, experience anxiety after stressful events and avoid challenging tasks due to the fear of failure (Allen & Leary, 2010). The workshop can also be a part of volunteer training, which equips youths who are passionate in human encounters for their future careers.

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