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Prof Elsie YAN 2000 x 1050 px

MHRC project screens for elder abuse, with 350 high-risk cases identified

Prof. Elsie YAN, Member of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) and Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences, launched the project “Happy Edward” in 2021, with the aim of identifying known or suspected elder abuse cases and providing support such as counselling, family mediation and health management, etc., through visits and community activities. Since launch, the project has screened over 2,300 elders and detected about 350 cases that are at high risk of elder abuse, of which more than 100 cases have received support. The project is funded by Lee Hysan Foundation and has been extended to 2027, with the goal of supporting 400 abuse cases. Prof. Yan pointed out that many abusers are children or spouses of the elders, and there are many reasons for elder abuse. She also said that public education is crucial to prevent elder abuse; elders need to know their rights to protect themselves; family members can reflect on whether their behaviour is abusive; and neighbours can lend a helping hand if they suspect elder abuse.  

22 May, 2024


Dr Georg Kranz_Papers

MHRC research papers published in prominent journals

Two studies conducted by Dr Georg KRANZ, Member of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, in collaboration with researchers from Hong Kong, Shanghai and Austria, have recently been published in prominent journals. The research findings contribute to our understanding of non-invasive brain stimulation as a treatment, as well as a diagnostic/prognostic tool for psychiatric disorders. The study titled “Instantaneous Effects of Prefrontal Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on Brain Oxygenation: A Systematic Review” investigates how prefrontal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) immediately influences neuronal excitability based on oxygenation changes measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The study has been published in the top-journal Neuroimage. Another research titled “Sex differences in brain excitability revealed by concurrent iTBS/fNIRS” investigates whether the real-time neural response to intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS), a patterned form of repetitive TMS, differs between men and women, and which mechanisms may mediate these differences. The study has been published in the top-journal Asian Journal of Psychiatry. Most recently, a study by Dr Kranz and his team, “Neurophysiological and neuroimaging markers of repetitive transcranial stimulation treatment response in major depressive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of predictive modeling studies” has been accepted for publication in the top-journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. To read the published papers, please refer to: Review article on instantaneous TMS effects: Study on sex differences: Meta-analysis on predictive modeling:

14 May, 2024


Dr Dalinda Isabel SANCHEZ VIDANA_v1

Dr Dalinda Isabel SANCHEZ VIDAÑA featured in SCMP to share on mindful eating

Dr Dalinda Isabel SANCHEZ VIDAÑA, Member of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (RS), was recently interviewed by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) to share about mindful eating. “Mindful eating must be regularly practised to see changes. It’s like brushing your teeth: we don’t like to do it when we’re young, but we see the benefits later,” said Dr Sanchez Vidaña. She is delivering the Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) programme for university students who have experienced emotional eating. The programme aims to promote participants’ awareness of their own bodily experiences and the emotional triggers of overeating. Online coverage: SCMP - (subscription required)

25 Apr, 2024

Media Coverage

MHRC studies lateral frontopolar cortex of  human brains to understand human decisionmaking 2000 x 1

MHRC studies lateral frontopolar cortex of human brains to understand human decision-making

Dr Bolton CHAU, Associate Director of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) and Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, and his team discovered the function of a lateral frontopolar cortex (FPl), a brain region unique to humans, hence providing important insights as to why humans are capable of generating complex behaviours. The findings have been published in Cell Reports.  With the use of brain imaging and artificial intelligence, the team identified that the FPl is involved in digesting complex information during decision-making. The FPI uses a parallel processing mechanism that decomposes high-dimensional choice information into simpler forms and transfers this simplified information to another region, the posterior cingulate cortex, to guide decision-making. The team also received a funding from the Collaborative Research Fund of the Research Grants Council (RGC) to conduct follow-up studies for three years. These studies aim to investigate the specific information represented in the FPl, develop artificial neural networks to reverse-engineer the FPl, and develop effective brain stimulation approaches to modulate the FPl. The studies will be conducted by a team comprising researchers from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University and the University of Oxford, and will leverage MHRC collaboration platform and the cutting-edge facilities of the University Research Facility in Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience (UBSN).   

21 Mar, 2024


MHRC Member introduces musicwithmovement system for elderly in RTHK TV programme 2000 x 1050 pxEN

MHRC Member introduces music-with-movement system for elderly in RTHK TV programme

Dr Daphne CHEUNG, Member of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) and Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, was featured in RTHK’s TV programme “Hong Kong United” to introduce the therapeutic music-with-movement system invented by her team. The innovation combines music, augmented reality (AR) interactive games and motion sensors to deliver music intervention for improving the cognitive and psychosocial functions of older adults with dementia. The innovation has won a prestigious global consumer product award in the “Accessibility & Aging Tech” category at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 Innovation Awards. PolyU is the only Hong Kong educational institution honoured with this award. Online coverage: RTHK - (9:13–14:36) (Chinese only)  

20 Mar, 2024

Media Coverage

Change of Directorship_March 2024_revised

Prof. Sylvia CHEN appointed Interim Director of MHRC

The Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Prof. Sylvia CHEN, Associate Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Associate Director of MHRC and Chair Professor of Social and Cultural Psychology of the Department of Applied Social Sciences, as Interim Director of MHRC with effect from 14 March 2024. Prof. Chen’s appointment as MHRC Associate Director will be suspended during the period. MHRC would like to thank Prof. Tsang, Chair Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences and Former MHRC Interim Director, for his contributions to the Centre, and extend warmest welcome to Prof. Chen for taking MHRC to new heights.

19 Mar, 2024

MHRC Retreat 2000px x 1050 px

MHRC Retreat 2024 successfully held

The Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) organised a retreat at the Kowloon Regal Hotel on 13 March.  The activity provided MHRC members with a valuable platform for sharing views on mental health research, interdisciplinary collaboration and the way forward.  Over 30 MHRC Members from PolyU faculties, schools and departments participated in the event.  It was also joined by invited scholars from other local and overseas universities, who shared their views and works in individual research fields. During the retreat, Prof. CHEN Qingyan, Director of the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research, delivered a welcome speech.  Prof. Hector TSANG, the then MHRC Interim Director, provided on update on MHRC’s development status and highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in mental health research. The event was followed by a series of presentations on various topics by invited scholars.  They included: Prof. Eric CHEN, Professor of Psychiatry at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Prof. Albert LEE, Founding Director of the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion and Clinical Professor of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Prof. Paul YIP, Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Director of the University’s Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, The University of Hong Kong.  A group discussion session followed, during which MHRC Members had a fruitful exchange with speakers and peers.  

14 Mar, 2024

Prof Hector TSANG featured on TVB programme Pearl Magazine2000 x 1050EN

Prof. Hector TSANG featured on TVB programme Pearl Magazine

Prof. Hector TSANG, Interim Director of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC) and Chair Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, gave an interview to TVB’s programme “Pearl Magazine” to share his insights into the support needs of carers and the roles of the government and industry in supporting caregivers in Hong Kong. He mentioned that the support services for carers in Hong Kong are limited and fragmented; the existing services are mostly centre-based and require appointment booking in advance, and are therefore quite rigid. He suggested that the government can take reference from other countries to establish a clear set of laws or acts on the provision and coordination of support for caregivers. The programme shared findings of a relevant research study led by Prof. Tsang. The research pointed out that respite services are valuable resources for carers.  It also showed that the utilisation rate of designated day respite services for the elderly in 2019–20 was only about 45%, indicating the needs to further improve the existing carer support system. Online coverage: TVB - (4:47 – 5:59)  TVB - (21:41 – 23:08)  

11 Mar, 2024

Media Coverage

Dr Dalinda Isabel Sanchez Vidana 2000 x 1050 px

MHRC Member delivers mindful eating health talks at The University of Western Australia

Dr Dalinda Isabel SANCHEZ VIDANA, Member of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC), Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, was invited to deliver interactive health talks “Mindful Bites: Exploring Mindful Eating and Taming Food Cravings” at The University of Western Australia, 27–28 February 2024. The interactive sessions included mindfulness exercises for developing healthy and mindful eating habits, providing participants with the opportunity to experience the benefits of mindfulness in eating and weight management.

6 Mar, 2024

Scholarly Engagement

Prof Sylvia Chen_HKAH_edited

MHRC Associate Director Prof. Sylvia CHEN elected as Fellow of Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities

We are delighted to announce that Prof. Sylvia Xiaohua CHEN, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Chair Professor of the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Associate Director of the Mental Health Research Centre (MHRC), and Director of the Yan Oi Tong Au Suet Ming Child Development Centre, has been elected as a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities (HKAH). This prestigious recognition is a testament to Prof. Chen’s exceptional scholarship and her significant contributions to humanities and social sciences in Hong Kong. Prof. Chen’s research focuses on personality and social psychology, cross-cultural psychology, as well as  the psychosocial and cultural aspects of mental health. She investigates the social impact of bilingualism and biculturalism, as well as the effects of cultural contexts on the psychological functioning of bilingual and bicultural individuals. Her research explores the influence of globalisation on the changes experienced by bicultural individuals in mindsets, values, beliefs and identifications as a result of acculturation. The HKAH was founded in 2011 with the main aims of giving recognition to scholarly excellence and providing a platform for advocacy on behalf of the humanities in Hong Kong. HKAH Fellows are recognised by their peers as scholars of the highest academic distinction, or eminent practitioners of the arts, and are honoured for their lifetime contributions to humanities.  

1 Mar, 2024

Awards & Recognitions

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