LCQ10: Mental health services

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Following is a question by the Dr Hon Kwok Ka-ki and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, in the Legislative Council today (November 29):


     Regarding mental health services, will theGovernment inform this Council:

(1) whether it knows the respective attendances of the services provided by each of the subvented Integrated Community Centre for Mental Wellness (ICCMW) for the following persons in each of the past three years: (i) discharged mental patients aged 15 or above, (ii) persons with suspected mental health problems aged 15 or above, (iii) family members/carers of those two types of persons, and (iv) residents interested in understanding/improving their mental health;

(2) given that only 15 out of the 24 existing ICCMWs operate in permanent premises, whether the Government has plans to provide permanent premises for the remaining nine ICCMWs; if so, of the implementation timetable, and whether it will, before permanent premises are provided to them, grant rent allowances to ICCMWs operating in smaller premises to facilitate their relocation to larger premises; if so, of the details (including whether the amount of allowance will be capped); if not, the reasons for that; of the principles based on which the Government determines the amount of subvention allocated to each ICCMW;

(3) whether it has plans to increase the manpower for psychiatric services in order to implement the recommendations put forward by the Review Committee on Mental Health in its report released in April this year; if so, of the respective numbers of additional (i) psychiatrists, (ii) psychiatric nurses, (iii) community psychiatric nurses, (iv) clinical psychologists, (v) medical social workers and (vi) occupational therapists that it has planned to recruit in the coming five years, with a tabulated breakdown by service target (i.e. children and adolescents, adults and the elderly);

(4) as the Government has indicated in the Policy Address delivered in January this year that it will set up a standing advisory committee to review and follow up the development of mental health services, of the progress and schedule of the preparatory work for setting up the committee, as well as the time when the Government will annouce the membership of the committee; and

(5) whether it will establish a high-powered Mental Health Commission with members comprising various types of stakeholders (e.g. medical personnel, mentally ill persons and their carers, ex-mentally ill persons, social workers, social and welfare organisations, academics and concern groups) and responsibilities for drawing up a comprehensive policy on mental health services and keeping the policy reviewed from time to time as well as promoting the collaboration among various policy bureaux and relevant organisations in the area of mental health services; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Having consulted the Labour and Welfare Bureau, my reply to the Hon Kwok Ka-ki's question is as follows:

(1) The Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness (ICCMWs) mainly provide services for members who are ex-mentally ill persons and persons with suspected mental health problems aged 15 or above, their family members/carers and participants in community engagement/public education activities.

The number of people from the above-mentioned four target groups who received ICCMW services in 2014-15 to 2016-17 is set out in the following table:
Year Number of ICCMW members (iii) Number of family members/
(iv) Number of participants in community engagement/ public education activities
(i) Ex-mentally ill persons (ii) Persons with suspected mental health problems
2014-15 20 215 5 447 2 587 133 245
2015-16 20 624 5 900 3 069 135 833
2016-17 19 520 7 499 4 073 139 429

(2) In 2010, the Government revamped the community mental health support services and set up ICCMWs in various districts to provide one-stop and district-based community mental health support services for ex-mentally ill persons and persons with suspected mental health problems, their families/carers and residents living in the district. Currently, 15 out of the 24 ICCMW service points are providing services at permanent accommodation. Five ICCMW service points have identified suitable sites/premises as permanent accommodation (four of them are carrying out or will carry out fitting-out/building works, while the other one is undergoing district consultation).

The remaining four ICCMW service points have reserved sites at new or re-development projects, and are pending confirmation of detailed arrangement.  Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Department fully subsidises the operating costs of nine ICCMW service points, which are yet to have permanent accommodation or have an accommodation area falling short of the required standards, to set up temporary service points or offices in suitable commercial premises.

(3) to (5) The Government established the Advisory Committee on Mental Health (the Advisory Committee) on November 28, 2017. The Advisory Committee comprises members from various sectors with a great wealth of expertise and experience including professionals from the healthcare, social service and education sectors, representatives from patient and carer advocacy groups, as well as lay persons with interest on mental health. The list of members is set out at Annex.

     The Advisory Committee will advise the Government on mental health policies, including the establishment of more integral and comprehensive approaches to tackle multi-faceted mental health issues in Hong Kong.

It will assist the Government in developing policies, strategies and measures to enhance mental health services in Hong Kong. It will follow up on and monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the 2017 Mental Health Review Report. The relevant bureaux will examine the resources and manpower required for the implementation of the recommendations and seek additional funding in accordance with established mechanism.

Published on: 2017-11-29

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