Episode 6 “Care for Carers”
    Guests: Kearen PANG, Dr Dana LO

    Person in dialogue: Dana LO (Family Medicine Specialist / Master of Arts in Guidance and Counselling)

    Dr LO has written articles for news columns and academic journals, and created a prose collection and a novel. Besides, she was the executive producer and scriptwriter of a drama (“Doctors Burnout”, collaborated with the drama society of medical students of the University of Hong Kong) and short videos on health topics. While providing professional advice to her patients during medical consultations, Dr LO also cares about patients’ emotional and mental health.


    • Latter Life Leisures

      Latter Life Leisures

      Episode 8 “Latter Life Leisures”
      Host: Vivian KONG

      Dave hurt his wrist when he was 50 years old. He was waiting in the hospital for a follow-up consultation when the public address system made the announcement: “LAU Wing-ming who is 50 years old, please go to Room 9.” “Maybe someone has the same name as mine, so the age is revealed for identification. At that moment, it was like God announced to me: You’ve entered your fifties!” Raymond and Alissa also share similar experience of “growing old”. The three seniors and Vivian KONG all laugh heartily.

      Age gap does not obstruct them from communication and opening their hearts to one another.

      Dave is 75 years old, Raymond and Alissa are over 60 years old. All three of them are not young anymore, but Vivian is deeply impressed by their active and optimistic characters. The three elderly persons are part-time models, and they love doing exercise and learning new things. These are the secrets for maintaining good physical and mental health in old age. Sometimes, the tricks are just common sense like “mom is a woman”. However, it is always easier said than done.

      “We need to have targets in every stage of our life.” This is an effective prescription to prevent depression in the elderly and mood disorder. When we reach older age in life, we may be retired, and our children may become grown-ups. We no longer need to put ourselves under the spotlight of workplace and family, so it is time for us to explore a new world for ourselves.

      Dave, Raymond and Alissa are role models of seniors who are still energetic and charming.

      Our life is long, and our clothes are thin. Nothing in the world is more intimate to us than our own bodies. In fact, our body is a container which saves our emotions and memories. For the elderly, the most familiar signal from their bodies may be pain. The three seniors follow the teacher to explore their bodies and feel the pain points, because they understand that it is better to listen to their bodies and take good care of themselves instead of escaping from the problems.

      Although Vivian is younger than the seniors, she has deep feelings about her physical condition. As athletes are more sensitive to the changes in their bodies than the general public, will their have special feelings on “aging”? There may be a fear behind injuries that they dare not to touch.

      The teacher says, “It is time to learn how to slide down elegantly … ” The elderly learns about balance and fall prevention, while youngsters should also learn to overcome failure.

      Let us be optimistic, open-minded, curious and active to cosily walk through the final stage of the journey of our life.

    • Back to School

      Back to School

      Episode 7 “Back to School "
      Host: Vivian KONG

      On the floor of a primary school auditorium lies a picture that is divided into four areas: for the top two, one is a happy and excited face, and one is an angry face; for the bottom two, one is a depressed and gloomy face, and one is a calm and peaceful face.

      “Students, how are you feeling at this moment?”

      Vivian KUNG and a group of Primary Two students ran to different areas respectively. Several students jump up and down in one of the areas excitedly, and the instructor takes the opportunity and asks, “Wow, what makes you children so excited today?” Everyone shouts, “The summer holiday is coming soon!” The instructor asks, “How about you, Vivian?” “I still have to practice fencing every day.” The children immediately embrace the women’s fencing world champion and shout, “Hang in there!” Vivian, who cries easily, has tears in her eyes at once.

      It is Rita CHING, the instructor, who brings the social-emotional course into this primary school. Through games and activity approach, she aims to let primary students recognise, express and place their emotions, and learn to communicate and get along with other people. Just as the “Quite Bottle” made by the students, people will gradually relax when watching the seven color glitter slowly sink. Vivian admits that she is looking for a way to get along with her emotions.

      Vivian has been a well-behaved top students since she was little, but she has been afraid that she would not be able to deliver her best. She puts a lot of pressure on herself until she learns fencing, which relieves and disperses the academic pressure. However, in the past few years, after becoming a full-time athlete, she has been facing the expectations of everyone, and encountering the tangle of injuries, pressures and emotions. Vivian tells Rita that she doesn’t know how to express her feelings, so she can only keep them in her heart. Rita also shares that she is working hard for her career, and the deadlines sometimes make her breathless, and easy to push herself to the breaking point.

      "If you want to listen to your emotions, you should start from yourself and get to know yourself. This is everyone’s lifetime homework: do love yourself and treat yourself well.”

      They talk and talk, and Vivian has tears in her eyes again. Rita puts her hand on Vivian’s shoulder, and the two tough ladies show their support for each other.

    • Care for Carers

      Care for Carers

      Episode 6 “Care for Carers”
      Guests: Kearen PANG, Dr Dana LO

      Person in dialogue: Dana LO (Family Medicine Specialist / Master of Arts in Guidance and Counselling)

      Dr LO has written articles for news columns and academic journals, and created a prose collection and a novel. Besides, she was the executive producer and scriptwriter of a drama (“Doctors Burnout”, collaborated with the drama society of medical students of the University of Hong Kong) and short videos on health topics. While providing professional advice to her patients during medical consultations, Dr LO also cares about patients’ emotional and mental health.

    • A Window of Hope

      A Window of Hope

      Episode 5 “A Window of Hope”
      Guests: Kearen PANG X KEI Sik-hung (Shop Supervisor, Cheers Gallery Rehab Links / Person in Recovery)

      The society has been promoting inclusion and community rehabilitation. There are social enterprises which operate shops to put these abstract concepts into practice, such that the people in recovery could earn their own living, build up their self-esteem and reintegrate into the community.

      In this episode, Kearen PANG will visit a social enterprise as a trainee to experience the operation of the shop for one day. She will receive training from KEI Sik-hung, the shop supervisor, hoping to understand through interaction at work, how people in recovery work and reintegrate into the society, as well as the importance of a pleasant working environment to promoting mental health.

      Sik-hung understands the importance of mental health very much as he has been there. The signs of the illness appeared when he was a student. It was at the time of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Exam (HKCEE) when he woke up one day and found an extract of a song kept repeating in his head. He endured the never-ending song throughout the HKCEE, but was diagnosed with depression in Form 7. However, he was naïve to believe that he could tackle emotional problems on his own back then. After that, he was always idling at home since he did not gain admission to the university, and eventually suffered from schizophrenia with the symptom of delusion. Two years later, Sik-hung gradually became better. He had been to a day hospital for training and a sheltered workshop to work, then he had worked as a janitor at school and had washed cars for teachers, but he was dismissed for being all thumbs. From one place to another, he finally came to the rehab shop.

      Kearen came to the shop today as a trainee. She will be a trainee for one day, and also make “Friend for a Day” with Sik-hung. Sik-hung teaches her patiently from the basics, and she learns about the products and different duties such as warehouse management and merchandising. Trainee is actually the origin of Sik-hung in the past. Since he started working at the shop, his passion towards his work has never declined. When his supervisor asked him to work night shifts, he always agreed readily and never complained. Besides, when Sik-hung was asked to handle some procedures unknown to him, he would try to work them out actively. After some ten years, he has been promoted from a trainee to a shop supervisor. What obstacles has he encountered during his transformation? And what does he feel?

      Kearen will also attend the “Mental Health First Aid Class” with Sik-hung to learn about common mental health issues and the intervening principles, and deepen their understanding about mental health, such that they could provide appropriate assistance to others when necessary.

      “When talking about mental health at work place, does it mean we should adapt to the society, or does the society expect everyone to live together?”

    • The Little Ones

      The Little Ones

      Episode 4 “The Little Ones”
      Guests: WONG Yan-lung, Apple, Jan

      “All these years, it’s always been me taking care of you. But who’s going to take care of me?”

      Since Apple was young, she already knew that her mother was mentally ill. Her father always physically abused her mother and her, and he even had an ex-marital affair, causing her mother’s even more unstable conditions. And she had attempted suicide many times. When Apple was still a junior secondary school student, she was determined to protect and take care of her mother for a lifetime, and she would never leave her mother.

      After Apple’s parents had separated for years, her father intruded into her and her mother’s life again. At the hospital, Apple threatened her mother, whose mental illness had relapsed, to choose only one from two – the man who had abandoned them, or her daughter who had always been by her side and looked after her closely. Her mother chose the former, making Apple feel completely devastated. So she made a strong accusation, “All these years, it’s always been me taking care of you. But who’s going to take care of me?” Then she left the hospital. As a carer, who had always been strong, she collapsed and became a mental patient herself.

      When Apple was at the bottom of life, she had the company and understanding of social worker Ms KWUN and a group of peer ambassadors, thus she came out of the dark gradually. She had learnt to respect people with mental illness and let go to let them grow. She had also understood that to find back the confidence in life was very important. With Ms KWUN’s assistance, Apple enrolled in a course about serving family members of patients. As an ex-mentally ill person, she hoped to serve other family members of patients who were in need. Turning from a person who needed help to one who offers help, Apple has put “to influence life with life” into practice.

      WONG Yan-lung, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health, has become “Friends for a Day” with Apple and Ms KWUN and they go on hiking. Through going into nature, they face the fluctuation of emotions, and explain to the audience the importance of the society “walking together, exhaling together and inhaling together” with the family members of mental patients.

      During the journey of hiking, Apple teaches WONG Yan-lung crocheting skills, and the process arouses her beautiful memories of the good old days with her mother.

    • Perfect Imperfection

      Perfect Imperfection

      Episode 3 “Perfect Imperfection”
      Guests: WONG Yan-lung X CHENG Chung-yan

      WONG Yan-lung is the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health. Social worker CHENG Chung-yan has all along been paying attention to how the community self-help mental rehabilitation services complemented the Government services for many years, and he is a person with lived experience. From the government system to community self-help, WONG and CHENG became “Friends for a Day”.

      Some people can grow and transform, and some people can be themselves, so both types are worthy to appreciate and they are perfect people. On the other hand, people have times of troubles and times of injuries, and they do have many limitations, and thus they have to accept their own imperfection.

      Ruby is a painting teacher of dissociation with multiple personality, and she has dissociated into different personalities due to past trauma. She uses art to heal her pain, express the words in her heart, and let her different personalities present herself and express herself.

      CHENG Chung-yan’s girlfriend Edith is also a social worker, and she has also experienced depression before. Edith has also explored mental health care by appreciating and drawing paintings, and stepped out of depression.

      Ruby will teach WONG Yan-lung, CHENG Chung-yan and Edith to draw pastel finger painting. During the process, the importance of mental health care can be brought out from the perspective of a person with lived experience. WONG will disclose that he was also a perfectionist who had high demands on himself when he was at school. CHENG will share his pains caused by his perfectionism. It turns out that calligraphy, photography and painting can make him forget his worries and get out of the haze of trouble.

      The four of them have tea together after painting. They will talk about their previous experience of medical treatment within the government system, but now they have learned how to get along with themselves.

      The government service system has imperfection, and it needs to work with people with lived experience and the community to build a physically and mentally healthy society.

    • Conversation is Free

      Conversation is Free

      Episode 2 “Conversation is Free”
      Guests: Eason CHAN, William CHOI

      This may be something out of the audience’s expectation: Eason CHAN walks through the floor for shops in a factory building and comes to find William CHOY, owner of Hong Lin Restaurant. Over the years, William has hired many people from the underprivileged community and he taught and trained them in person.

      Eason goes into the kitchen to make afternoon tea sets with William’s employees – Kwai-keung, Ka-lun and Wing-man. All three of them are suffering from mild intellectual disability and mental illness; all three of them are William’s right-hand men. William knows their strengths like the back of his hand: Kwai-keung is diligent in his work; Wing-man has a strong sense of responsibility; and Ka-lun is more of a technical type of person who was short-tempered when he first worked at the restaurant, but he would be fine when he was soothed.

    • Love Awaits at Castle Peak

      Love Awaits at Castle Peak

      Episode 1
      Love Awaits at Castle Peak

      In the eyes of Hong Kong people, the Castle Peak Hospital is equal to a “lunatic asylum”. Some may even consider it a prison for mental patients. In fact, what really is the Castle Peak Hospital? In this episode, Eason CHAN will visit Dr NG Lee-ying who has been working in the Castle Peak Hospital for ten years and go on a tour of her workplace.

      The first place Eason visits is the most mysterious isolation ward in the Castle Peak Hospital. In fact, many patients who have an emotional outburst request by themselves to rest for a while in the isolation ward. The public always imagine the pathological acts of the patients when they have an emotional outburst, while it is difficult for them to imagine the feelings of the patients at that time: they may feel helpless, or even ashamed. How does Eason feel when he is inside a confined room with soft cushions all over the walls and the floor?

      Dr NG then guides Eason to visit the wards. Eason also sits among the patients and tastes their lunch, in order to experience the patients’ daily life. Furthermore, Eason will have in-depth communication with discharged mental patients and the female hairdressers who cuts the patients’ hair.

      Eason’s curiosity and confusion over mental illness are actually the typical curiosity and confusion of the public over mental illness. He breaks the taboo boldly to ask Dr NG questions such as: Is there a complete cure for mental illness? How should we communicate with schizophrenia patients? Besides, Eason frankly remarks that facing friends who suffer from mental distress, he sometimes finds that there is nothing he can do even though he would like to lend a helping hand. Moreover, as an artist, he is stressful and feels fragile occasionally. Dr NG also shares the ups and downs she had gone through when facing difficult cases in her career.

      If the sounds of our hearts really have a healing effect, who will fear to reveal even more?
      Talk to me. Talk to me to see who shed the most tears.

      These two guests, one is emotional, the other one is warm-hearted, keep sharing with and listening to each other. As time flows, the air around them seems to become mellower and warmer. Through sincere interaction, the two guests have become “friends for one day”.