While temperature checks and social distancing measures are designed to protect our physical health from the ongoing threat of COVID-19, there has been less focus on the psychological toll the pandemic has taken on us all.
With World Mental Health Day 2020 coming on 10 October, Mind Hong Kong wants to change all that. With a new campaign, #BehindTheMask, Mind HK asks Hongkongers to examine and speak up about how they're feeling on the inside.
Nine months into the pandemic and three waves down, Mind HK surveyed Hongkongers about their mental wellbeing and found alarming results: 57% of Hongkongers aged 18-34 felt that their mental health worsened during the July to September third wave, attributing the decline to concerns about boredom, work and finances, and general feelings of loneliness.
To illustrate the feelings many locals share, the campaign released a video for #BehindTheMask. The video follows a woman as she goes about her day, wondering what her fellow Hongkongers are feeling and going through. As she wonders, voiceovers from those she passes help demonstrate the point that what we see on the outside is not always a reflection of what's happening within.
In addition to the video, Mind HK also took #behindthemask to social media, launching an Instagram filter as a way to bring the campaign to the community in a shareable and impactful way. The filter shows different emotions expressed by Hongkongers who participates the survey, and serves as a reminder that we're not alone in our concerns and anxieties as a result of the pandemic.
"Everyone in Hong Kong has been affected by COVID-19 in some way, be it through staying at home, being separated from friends and family, uncertainty about work or education, or worrying about the virus itself," said Dr. Hannah Reidy, CEO of Mind HK.
"By unveiling #behindthemask, we want to show people struggling with their mental health that they are not alone and encourage them to seek the support they need and check in on others."
If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health related issues, Mind HK offers resources to get support, available here: mind.org.hk/find-help-now