Chinese Whispers: The Chinese Mental Health Association (A Previous Media Interview) 華心會的概況

by/作者: Genevieve Roberts

Talking to someone from the same background is an enormous plus, ...I was always the unwanted extra bowl, told to sit at the end of the table, despite the table being round

Caroline Li Howard, a Chinese psychotherapist, helped establish the Chinese Mental Health Association in the early nineties, the first mental health association geared towards Chinese people living in England. She gained her counselling qualifications in England, and began working with around 50 clients, counseling them in individual and group sessions. She also trained less experienced counselors. She says: 'Migration and mental health has always been linked, these are psychological barriers which have to be overcome in order to cope with the dual face of being Chinese, living within a British culture."

It is an essential service, as many cases of depression and mental illness with the Chinese community are at least partially caused by problems associated with migration, adaptation to an alien culture where different, and in some cases, contradictory values prevail. The counseling and support services offered by CMHA are able to take into account these culturally influential problems, in a way that mainstream mental health charities never could.

Read more

My Time Working For CMHA 我在華心會工作的曰子

by AY

I was very conscious about letting people know about my mental health problems. Then I met people from CMHA and became one of the active volunteers.

The name 'CMHA' has been in my head for sometime. The first time I heard about this name was in a magazine. There were times my mental health status was not very stable and I was lucky to have my parents by my side to support me. I was very conscious about letting people know about my mental health problems. Then I met people from CMHA and became one of the active volunteers.

I have worked for CMHA as a volunteer for about six months now and have worked at many different tasks in the office. I usually help to make phone calls to different psychiatric wards in hospitals so I have had the chance to meet different workers in the wards.

Read more

My Story 我的故事

by HL - A former service user

I slowly went astray and eventually got addicted to drugs. During that period, I was exhausted both mentally and physically.

I suffer from mental health needs. For the past ten years, I have been wrestling with my illness but only recently have I admitted to it. Maybe accepting the fact that I am mentally ill is not easy and therefore I didn't positively face up to my problems.

I can still remember when I was full of hope. At the time, I had just arrived in England in December, 1980. My father was a boss of a restaurant and my mother, sister and I were living in our own house. We were quite well off. I started looking for a college and there was one nearby. Unfortunately, my English was poor and the college did not accept me. So I studied English only until I improved and reached a higher level. I wanted to apply for a university place and further my education.

Read more

FuFu For You! A Social Group Testimony 發發給你

by ZRJ

I hope we can raise further awareness and support for Chinese mental health rehabilitees, so they can have the care they need.

I am a person recovering from mental health difficulties and I wanted to develop new skills for myself as well as use these skills to help other rehabilitees. I found out about the 'Yao Yao Social Club' and have been an active participant ever since. The club gives me the chance to develop myself as a person. In the social club, I have the opportunity to learn new skills such as making badges which we sell to badge collectors around the United Kingdom.

Read more

A Hard Life Experience at Childhood 我的生活經歷

by Jason - A former service user

I would like to thank everyone from CMHA for providing these quality services to enable me to enhance my life skills, build up my confidence ...

I grew up as an extremely self-conscious child who was generally shy and nervous. I am the 3rd child in my family with two brothers, one older, one younger and a sister. Being the middle child always made me feel very left out because family friends and relatives would always ask. "How's your older brother, sister and younger brother?" In conversations, they would never ask of me. From a young age, segments of my family, relatives and friends had put me down and I had always been told they don't talk to me because I was too serious about everything.

During those early days at school, I also suffered from urination problems. Every time I felt nervous, I would have to go to the toilet. It was very frustrating for me because every time I needed the toilet, I was too afraid and embarrassed to ask the teacher because I did not like the attention I received from the other pupils whom might laugh or think of stupid things about me. So I would usually have to wait for hours till after school. Being very desperate wanting to go to the toilet everyday at school was a total disaster for me! So disastrous that one time, at my primary school in year 4, I could not hold on! I completely wet my trousers in front of the teacher and all the pupils in my class. How awful was that! I was not even brave enough to tell my mother about it; instead I lied to her saying that someone accidentally spilt water over me. I had also wet my bed several times when I was a child.

Read more