6 Stories Inside MentalCare
Six employees of MentalCare, although they faced with mental or physical challenges in their lives, they regained self-confidence through working, and improved interpersonal and family relationship.

Mr. Pan Chi-wai
Senior Shop Keeper “Cheers Gallery” North District Hospital Convenience Store

Breakthrough & Mutuality

Chi Wai, while studying in Form 5, was diagnosed of suffering from schizophrenia, and hospitalized in 2000 due to relapse. After discharge from hospital, he lived aimlessly for five years. Most of the time, Chi Wai locked himself at home and refused to make contact with the outside world. Though he had thought of further studies, he gave up finally due to lack of motivation.

In 2005, being referred to the Supported Employment Services, Chi Wai got an internship opportunity in a hospital. Chi Wai, who was

ready to re-integrate into the community, eventually quitted the job because of work pressure. His self-confidence was totally shattered.

After twists and turns, Chi Wai was referred to work as a trainee in a convenience store, “Cheers Gallery”, operated by MentalCare Connect Co. Ltd. (MentalCare) at the North District Hospital. He then received training at rehabilitation shop. With his great efforts, Chi Wai started a new life by working as a permanent staff at Cheers Gallery in August 2006.

“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the support and care given by my family members. Without their help, I cannot pull myself together and go on. I also want to express my gratitude to MentalCare. I have been working here for six years, I have learnt the ways to relate with others. The care support of my supervisor and colleagues have helped me at work. Now, I take up the responsibility to coach junior staff. I am gratified with the progress they made.”

Ms. Lam Yuet Agor
Shop Supervisor
Hospital Authority Staff Co-op Shop

No Fear of Discrimination

Agor worked in a private company, she was questioned by her colleagues for her working abilities given her mobility problem. It made her feel being discriminated. Given the decline of the industry, Agor was dismissed by the company. At that time, her husband suffered from psoatic strain and could not work. The family had to rely on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance for living.

Faced with adversities, Agor, who is a hard-working woman, did not give up easily. She wanted to be self-reliance and sought jobs proactively. She sought jobs in a number of companies, she finally quitted due to divergent opinions with her colleagues.

By chance, Agor knew about the MentalCare, and she joined the workforce of Cheers Gallery in 2008. Because of her extraordinary working performance and harmonious working relationship with her teammates, she was promoted to the rank of supervisor and worked in Hospital Authority Staff Coop Shop. She thus revived her spirits and rebounded from disappointment.

“Having worked for the MentalCare for four years, I really appreciate my colleagues’ tolerance of me. Compared with my previous working organizations, staff relationship at the MentalCare is most harmonious. Thanks to the MentalCare which gave me various work opportunities, I have become more positive, energetic and happier. The most gratifying thing is that my daughter is inspired by my work, and she wants to become a social worker helping those underprivileged.”

Mr. Henry Shuen Ting-che
Shop Supervisor
"Cheers Gallery" Caritas Medical Centre Rehab Links

Restart the Life; Met His True Love

Henry was diagnosed with depression in 2006, beginning his “dark period.” Henry could not control his extreme negative thoughts, and even intended to give up himself. However, with unfailing support of his family, case medical doctor and social worker, Henry gained his courage to reintegrate his life.

In 2008, Henry joined the MentalCare Connect Company Limited (MentalCare) and, after training, he was placed as the senior shop-keeper at "Cheers Gallery" in Pok Oi Hospital. However, due to side

effects of psychiatric medication, Henry’s memory was deteriorating, and he has difficulties at work. With the support and understanding of his colleagues, Henry gradually caught up with the sales. As a result, Henry was appreciated by his supervisor, and was appointed as the Shop Manager at "Cheers Gallery" in the Caritas Medical Centre.

Managing the daily operations of the shop and coordinating human resources made Henry feel stressful and depressive. At one time, he had idea to quit the job. With his religious faith and care of his colleagues, Henry finally overcame the difficulties and did an excellent job.

“The MentalCare is like a big family, colleagues are caring and supportive. I’m glad to see that my colleagues have become more mature. I expect mutual learning and growth with my colleagues. My relationship with my family has improved after working at MentalCare. My biggest gain is meeting my wife at the workplace. I sincerely thank for her support and encouragement, and, because of love, we tolerate and rely on each other.”

Ms. Chin Miu-shan
Shop Keeper
"Cheers Gallery" Rehab Links (Nanking Street)

Let go of the Past; Start a New Venture

Shan was a dancing teacher, but she finally forced to give up her adored job upon chronic injury. As she lost her life goal, coupled with the pressure of taking care of her children, she began to have auditory hallucination. In 2002, Shan eventually received psychiatric treatment. The side effect of the psychiatric medication affected Shan’s daily life, which made her feel depressed.

In 2009, Shan received the employment service from the Mental Health Association of Hong Kong, and was placed at the "Cheers

Gallery" - Nanking Street Rehab Links. Shan was worried at the beginning because she had little knowledge on the rehabilitation products. Under the leadership of her supervisor, she gained much knowledge on the rehab products, and became more confident to reply the enquiries of the customers.

Shan once thought that dancing was most important in her life, and her life would be meaningless if she gave up dancing. But after joining the MentalCare, Shan has become gentler than before. She realized that if one dares to be open and forward looking, there are many opportunities lying ahead.

“My sister has witnessed my change after joining the MentalCare. She is happy for me. Although my mum sometimes blames me for not being able to accompany her after work, I know she supports me in her heart. I now treasure my health upon looking back.”

Ms. Kwok Pui-lam
Shop Keeper
“Cheers Gallery” Tuen Mun Hospital Rehab Shop

A Good Mentor; Improved Family Relationship

Lam was admitted for hospital treatment in 2005 due to emotional illness, making her to think that recovery is a long and winding road. In 2007, after receiving training at the Mental Health Association of Hong Kong, she was placed at the convenience shop operated by the MentalCare Connect Company Ltd (MentalCare) in Tuen Mun Hospital. Upon replacement of new shop manager, Lam was eager to impress the manager with good performance, which unduly made her commit mistakes at work. The manager did not blame her, but raised her performance by caring guidance.

The manager not only helped her at work, but also made her understand the problem areas of unsatisfactory relationship with family members. She used to think that her duty is only to support the family financially; she did not care about the feelings of the family members. She was often in conflicts with them for trivial matters. The manger patiently analyzed with Lam, making her realize the root of conflicts - her rude attitudes. Since then, she learned to change herself, showing care to her parents, and genuinely love her family members. Lam now feels happy for a harmonious relationship with her family.

“I am very grateful for being able to work at the MentalCare and having met a good supervisor who becomes my mentor. She mends my broken relationship with family. In the past five years, I learn a lot at work and become more confident and mature. I will endeavour to work harder, and am prepared to meet the challenges ahead.”

Ms. Lam Cheung-chu

No more Pessimism, Re-ignition of Hope

Chu worked in toys factory before, but she is only able to work for the maximum of five months due to poor physical health. Given the torture of physical illness, her will power was diminishing. She finally gave up job-seeking and stayed home idly. Subsequently, she easily fell into conflicts with her family members, which made her unhappy and depressed. She was finally diagnosed to be suffering from depression.

After treatment, Chu did not want to waste time at home, she was referred to the MentalCare, delivering pamphlets in Tuen Mun Hospital. She was happy to have a life goal; she was revitalized and became less depressed.

“I am very satisfied to work at the MentalCare, because my colleagues are caring and supportive, and the jobs are relatively easy. I am now more stable in mood, and seldom throw temper. My relationship with family is obviously improved. This is the biggest reward I gain from my working in society.”