(Hong Kong, April 27, 2012) The Li Ka Shing Foundation has made a contribution to the Hospital Authority to establish “Serene Teen” – a Holistic Child and Youth Wellness Centre cum Training Centre at the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital.
The Centre, to be developed with a donation of HK$8.35 million from the Foundation and matching funds from the Hospital Authority, will support the Nethersole Hospital in forming coordinated efforts in addressing mental health problems for children and adolescents in The New Territories East Cluster.
Creating a network effect of caring and support
Aside from offering mental health and related medical services, the Centre will serve as a network centre with schools and the community to achieve synergistic effects through a coordinated system of holistic care and support, from clinical services, psychiatric assessment, occupation and speech therapy, nursing, chaplaincy, to social work and parent and teacher involvement. The network will strengthen public education and training activities to maximize the effectiveness of the increased interaction between the hospitals and the community in the provision of comprehensive mental health services for children and adolescents.
This collaborative service model is consistent with the caring spirit that the Foundation’s “Love HK Your Way!” campaign advocates.
Dr. Beatrice Cheng, Chief Executive of Nethersole Hospital, expressed her gratitude for the Foundation’s support. “The establishment of the Centre creates an all-round synergy platform among the Hospital Authority, Social Welfare Department, Department of Health, schools, parents, teachers, general practitioners, NGOs and other related agencies to deliver a seamless spectrum of services, including prevention education, early identification, prompt intervention, assessment and therapy, and rehabilitation and support.”
Pioneering a new service model
Based on Census and Statistics Department’s figures, the New Territories East Cluster served a population of 1.3 million in 2011. Of the 230,000 children and adolescents aged 20 or below in this constituency, a number of them show signs of suffering from mental disorders such as autism, hyperactivity and anxiety.
The Centre serves its young patients with a holistic care approach, whose objectives are shared among the different sectors, service providers and stakeholders. From 2010 to 2011, the Hospital launched an early identification and school support pilot programme to provide early intervention for primary school students who exhibit signs of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders to help them achieve their learning potential. The programme also provided parents and teachers with resources and information to help them cope with children experiencing mental disorders, which in turn alleviated their daily stress.
Schoolchildren benefiting from pilot programme found learning to be more fun, and also noted that teachers were more able to manage their learning problems than before. Parents indicated that the information seminars deepened their knowledge of mental health disorders in children and they gained a better understanding of the reasons for their children’s disruptive conduct. Teachers welcomed the programme and found the resources useful in dealing with children.
Significant upgrade of services combined with clinical research
Besides the psychiatric outpatient and multi-disciplinary medical services already in progress, the Centre’s mental health specialist outpatient centre was renovated and re-opened recently.
The programme is expected to be fully implemented in mid-2013, at which time the Hospital will be able to handle 400 paediatric psychiatric outpatients per year from 120/year in 2010. Number of patients served will also be increased six-fold to 2,200. As for multi-disciplinary professional medical care such as clinical psychiatric services, occupational and speech therapy, the number of cases handled will rise from 90/year in 2010 to 5,000/year, an increase of 55-fold.
The support of the Foundation will also enable The Chinese University of Hong Kong to conduct clinical studies in connection with this new service model and discover ways to advance the field of paediatric mental disorders.
Love HK in more ways than one
The HK$300 million “Love HK Your Way!” campaign is deeply committed to the advancement of local healthcare and community welfare. In 2011, the campaign partnered with Hospital Authority to expand “Heart of Gold” Hong Kong Hospice Service Programme which was first launched in 2008. The collaboration also saw the creation of a website called “HospiceHome” as a one-stop online resource for hospice service information and interaction.
The Foundation made a contribution of HK$40 million early this year to install a state-of-the-art TrueBeam system in the Prince of Wales Hospital, which is the teaching hospital of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. It will be the first public hospital in Hong Kong to offer this advanced radiotherapy technology for cancer patients.