Mental Illness – A taboo subject (Part 2)

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I had attended a charity mini concert by one of my very good friend, Monique last week. It was to raise fund and more importantly to raise awareness of how important it is for all of us in our community to understand the mental health issues. In memory of her late uncle who passed away due to mental illness last year, I am dedicating my blog posts for the next few weeks to continue the message to spread awareness of this issue. I would like to focus on young people and their vulnerabilities.

The source of such tragedy may well lie at the doorstep of mental illness, a once taboo subject now thrust into the limelight of Hong Kong preying eyes.  Depression and many other mental health issues, demand our community’s dedicated effort and focus, with a special focus on our young people.  The helplessness of these young people is calling for all of us, as a global community, in addition to having compassion and empathy toward them, we must fight, on their behalf, for urgent attention and action from the public health system.

We have to move the curtain aside and shed light on mental issues, so depression, along with other crippling mental health issues can become a public policy debate and not something to hide away from.  Every country has people who suffer from this, so this must be a global effort. As long as we fail to realize the impact it has on our communities, this silent, yet deadly disease will strike at those we love so dearly.

 

To All Us Mothers

I remind myself every day that I am blessed to be the mother of my children and I must do my best to look after them, to raise them well.  To provide shelter and necessity; to give them education and values; to offer guidances and directions and most of all, to love and be there for them.

But I also remind myself every day to reflect on my own behaviors and attitudes toward my children.  Am I being realistic with my expectation of them or am I pushing them too hard? Am I giving them the space they need to grow into their own people or am I pushing them to fulfill my dreams instead of theirs?  Am I paying enough attention to their emotional needs or am I assuming just because they look happy and well on the surface, they are fine?

Let’s not forget the world our children (young and old) are living in now is very different from the world we had grown up in.  It is not to say it is easier or harder, better or worst; but just a different world. (more temptations and expectations!) I do agree, however, that this generation is much more fortunate than generations before them.  They have what we didn’t have (like advanced technology; wealthy society!) But at the same time, the pressure and expectations our children have to face these days are far more intense and unimaginable. Children are expected to learn three to four languages at the age of 5 or less before they entered primary school?  Teenagers are expected to apply for 10 to 15 colleges, if not more. Young adults are expected to work unbelievable hours (young lawyers and bankers). There are also a lot of social problems within our society as well (price of the housing; the unstable political ground) that add to the lives of our beloved children.

Let’s find a quiet time of the day and pause a moment and ask ourselves, “Have we ask our children how they are today? or what’s on their minds? Or when was the last time we tell our children that whenever they feel sad or unhappy, we are here for them and that they are not alone?”

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Sandy Sinn-Hussey

Motherhood has been a long journey for me. Being a single mother for twelve years, I have learned the importance of mother and child's relationship. Raising children is a lifelong career and require patience, perseverance and love.

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