I am studying social work and I was fortunate to be part of the Kai Xin Xing Dong pilot project team. This taught me* a lot and helped me understand more about mental health.

The project created a whole picture of what mental health is, and how to work with your own recovery. As a project worker, I had the chance to be one of the first people to read the personal stories others had written, and am now writing my own!

Kai Xin Xing Dong has changed my perception of mental illness; prior to undertaking this assignment.

Just like many people, I only had a basic understanding of mental illness. I thought it only affected a very small percentage of the population and largely went untreated. But mental illness is a common issue, it can happen to anyone.

Recovery is possible

There is an old Chinese saying that goes: What we eat, makes us sick. 人吃五穀雜糧,難免會生身體上的疾病 . But, in fact, besides eating, we also have emotions and desires that can also make us unwell. 除了吃五穀雜糧外,還有七情六欲. Therefore, it is completely normal that someone's mental health may become interrupted at various times in their lives, but I now know that the vast majority of people who suffer from mental illness can recover.

Furthermore, the project changed my perception toward people who have experienced mental illness.

Through my professional training, I have neither prejudice nor bias against such people, however, I still held some misconceptions. I thought most would not be able to hold down a job. But the majority of people who experience mental illness are just like anyone else; they work hard, and contribute to society with talent and skill.

I now also realise the majority of people who experience mental illness, also experience a lot of ups and downs while fighting for their recovery – fighting to create a better life for themselves.

I sincerely believe that not only should we not judge people who experience mental illness, we should also respect them and learn from them.

*Name withheld for privacy reasons.

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