New Life's Latest Service “eClinic” Launched to Resolve Emotion Dilemma
In response to the increasing need for mental health support services amid the COVID-19 epidemic, New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (New Life) launched the "Jockey Club Electronic Clinic for Psychological Service” (eClinic), a one-stop complimentary online psychological treatment platform in June.
The epidemic has been impacting the Hong Kong people in all aspects for almost three years, as their level of stress and anxiety continues to rack up. New Life has conducted a survey from June to July to examine Hong Kong citizens’ mental health conditions and the demand for online mental health services. A total of 452 valid responses have been received.
The result proves the epidemic has caused an overwhelming impact on the public's mental health: 45% (204 people) of interviewees rated their stress level amid the epidemic as high to very high; 37%(165 people) of them are perplexed by nervous emotions; 56% (254 people) of them considered the epidemic has greatly affected their social interaction capability. Moreover, 49% (222 people) of them admitted that they have searched online for mental health-related information.
Online Therapy Becoming More Common
Currently, use of online psychological treatment has been emerging in various countries. A research recently conducted by the Oxford University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Department of Psychology shows that patients with social anxiety disorder could be fully cured with online treatments. The research reflects similar findings compared to relevant studies conducted in the UK: 86% of the participants attained full recovery upon completion of the treatment. A hybrid treatment combining physical and online therapies can also reduce an average 60% of time, compared to the hours used to take during traditional treatments, underlying a more efficient practice of psychological treatments.
"Multiple learning elements can be applied in online treatments, through recordings of online sessions, a patient can review his/her own performance and directly face the traumas that have caused the anxiety.”
Professor Patrick Leung, Professor of Department of Psychology & Director of Graduate Studies in Clinical Psychology at CUHK; Member of Training, Research and Development Subcommittee at New Life
Receiving Treatments Whenever And Wherever Possible
As proven by a survey conducted by the eClinic, many Hong Kong people have been suffering from serious distress amid the epidemic, and possess imminent need for online mental health services. The eClinic adopts a hybrid approach, providing physical and online treatments to the depressed. The 14-week treatment includes the self-learning skills and knowledge on emotion management available to patients from the online platform 24/7; and regular consultations with therapists through video/phone calls. The treatment framework adopted the "Unified Protocol” developed by Dr. David Barlow from Boston University, delivering an evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that can effectively alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
"New Life has been proactively developing new services to provide evidence-based psychological treatments to people in desperate need. To align with the global trend of developing telehealth services for psychological treatments, , we hope to leverage the recently-launched eClinic to provide timely and appropriate psychological support to those who are unable or reluctant to undergo face-to-face treatments.”
—— Mr. Thomas CHU Sai-ming, Chief Executive Officer of New Life
"Many people have been confined at home for a long period because of the epidemic and this could lead to problems with their emotions. However in many of the cases, these issues are often being ignored due to the traditional misconception and fear against mental health issues and relevant services."
—— Dr. Amanda CHEUNG, Clinical Psychologist at New Life
Every case has its unique situations. There was a 25-year-old teenager with Social Anxiety Disorder, who used to suffer from anxiety when he was sweating, as he was deeply worried that it would cause others’ irritation. The patient then went through the cognitive behavioural therapy by pouring water to himself to simulate the sweating over and over again. With constant practices, finally he was capable of overcoming the anxiety of sweating, and realised that sweating is nothing but a normal phenomenon.
If you have been experiencing distress or other mental health issues, you are welcome to conduct an initial self-check on the eClinic website. Eligible persons would be recommended to join eClinic's online psychological treatment course.