Yan Chow   

10:00 - 16:00 

“When I was 15 years old, I went through some rough patches in school. I worked hard and got really good grades in Form 3. It felt great, but then my grades slipped the following year and I was crushed with disappointment. I lost all motivation - it was so overwhelming and I didn’t know how to cope. I felt lost, confused and isolated. I tried to turn to my friends but it was such a competitive environment and they were so caught up with their own studies that I just didn’t get the support that I needed - which only amplified feelings of loneliness and disappointment. Years later, I was finally able to process these buried emotions. I also learnt that trying to make difficult emotions disappear is not the healthiest way forward!"



“After studying psychology at university and attending the Mind HK iACT Wellbeing Practitioner training, I now work with youths to support their mental health. I’m also the Project Assistant for our Mind HK Improving Access to Community Therapies (iACT) programme. We provide free therapy to secondary school students experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems. A common thread that I observe through my conversations with HK students is that most of them have extremely low self-esteem. It’s not just the kids who are struggling academically, but even the top students feel that way. They often feel inadequate and believe that they have no option but to follow a single path - get good grades, get into a good university, get a good job, make good money - in order to be happy. They experience immense pressure to achieve and to be perfect, yet all they are able to absorb are criticisms and comparisons. I see my role as planting seeds: empathising with and validating their emotions and helping them see and believe in the strength and hope that’s already in them." 

”I love the work that I do as the cause deeply resonates with me. I am still at the beginning of my career journey but I’m excited to learn more about different counselling modalities, and how to work with different problems and people. A young girl once told me, at the end of our counselling programme, that sadness is beautiful. She had struggled with expressing her emotions, even to close family and friends. Through our work together she has learnt to accept difficult emotions, even to embrace them as opportunities for growth. If I could share a message with my struggling 15 year old self, and with the young people of HK, it would be this: ‘You are beautiful, you are extremely strong, you know what you want and what you need to do. Even though there may be a million reasons not to believe that, someone out there believes it - and you do too’.”





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