Under Phase 2 of the Mental Health Initiatives Funding Scheme (the Funding Scheme) coordinated by the Advisory Committee on Mental Health, PolyU has received support for five projects, developing innovative social services programmes to benefit the mental well-being of people in the Hong Kong community.


The five awarded projects devise sustainable solutions to address the mental health issues of different people, with the application of new technology such as virtual reality and electronic platforms to improve programme impact and efficiency. The five PolyU programmes cover the mental health needs of various stakeholders including caregivers, secondary school students, adolescents with special educational needs (SEN), carers of AD/HD children, and persons with disabilities.


The Funding Scheme aims to fund projects that could help provide better support those in need in the community and to raise public awareness on mental health. PolyU researchers have devoted tremendous effort to creating solutions for the community’s welfare with the integration of academic, scientific and pragmatic expertise. The five awarded projects are being conducted by the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at PolyU, with a project duration of up to two years.


PolyU-led projects awarded under Phase 2 of the Mental Health Initiatives Funding Scheme

Project Title

Project Summary

Principal Investigator

Reducing Social Avoidance and Enhancing Prosocial Behaviour among Adolescents with Special Educational Needs

The project aims to foster prosocial behaviour of adolescents with SEN in transition with the use of virtual reality technology. It will implement social anxiety intervention based on a cognitive-behavioural approach with a virtual coach acting as the therapist and develop a gamified prosocial VR intervention for adolescents with SEN. This VR-assisted social avoidance and prosocial behaviour intervention would benefit individuals and society by cultivating psychological and socially healthy young people.

Prof. Sylvia CHEN
Professor of Department of Applied Social Sciences, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Healing Together – Building Positive School Mental Health in Post-COVID Hong Kong

The project aims to promote mental health and its awareness for stakeholders of secondary schools including students, teachers, administrative staff and management. Healing spaces will be constructed in the partnering schools. The programme will adopt a train-the-trainer approach to train students to become mental health ambassadors for programme sustainability and student empowerment. Baptist Oi Kwan Social Services is the collaborative partner of this project.

Dr Angel LAI
Assistant Professor of Department of Applied Social Sciences

Enhancing the Mental Health of Carers of Persons with Disabilities with Support Services Delivered by Trained Carer Support Ambassadors

The project aims to support carers of persons with disabilities. It will implement a short-term certificate programme for frontline workers such as occupational therapy assistants, rehabilitation assistants, patient care assistants and welfare workers to become Carer Support Ambassadors who will deliver mental health support to carers. This innovative approach is designed to address the shortage of manpower in mental health services and the growing support needs for carers.

Prof. Hector TSANG
Professor and Head of Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Increasing Mental Health Literacy and Peer Support among Caregivers: An Electronic Painting and Peer Supportive (EPPS) Platform

The project will develop an Electronic Painting and Peer Supportive (EPPS) Platform to provide mental health support for caregivers. It aims to enhance mental health literacy and peer support among caregivers. This electronic interactive platform motivates caregivers to share their paintings with others and seek help from families and professionals when they are stressful.

Prof. Angela LEUNG
Professor and Associate Head (Research) of School of Nursing

Peer Support Virtual Reality-based Intervention for AD/HD Carers - Stress Relieving and Empathy Improving Programme

A novel peer support virtual reality-based therapy will be developed for AD/HD carers to reduce their stress and improve empathy in getting along with their AD/HD children. The project aims to provide stress management for the carers to sustain healthy living conditions and relationships with AD/HD children.

Dr Harry QIN
Associate Professor of School of Nursing