The "Magic Moments"-themed Operation Santa Claus 2023 is in full swing and one of the 16 beneficiaries of the campaign -- jointly organised by RTHK and the South China Morning Post -- is The Hub Children and Youth Centre Limited in Sham Shui Po.
The charity offers opportunities to young people, who may be plagued by intergenerational poverty, so that they can not just survive, but also thrive in society.
In light of recent news of a post-pandemic mental health crisis among the city's youth, the charity will dedicate the funds raised from Operation Santa Claus to its "Teens' Mental Health Club Project", a three-part programme aimed at addressing the mental health issues of young people aged between 10 and 16.
Speaking to RTHK's Alyson Hau, the group's Executive Director, Josephine Leung, said there is a need to provide more all-rounded mental health services, especially as service users have doubled in number since the pandemic.
"We have over 2,000 members now. The need is out there. And how can we tackle all the needs? We can't. I hope that everyone can be aware of the mental stress issues. When we hear on the news that you suffer from mental stress, this is only a tiny portion of what's happening," Leung said.
The programme will teach young people skills such as mindfulness and problem solving so that they can better understand themselves and self-regulate their emotions during moments of stress and anxiety.
For early risk detection, the programme will also consist of one-on-one counselling and continue organising family activities to open dialogue about mental health between young people and their parents, many of whom do not realise that looking after themselves is equally important.
"During Covid, we did some, for example, parenting workshops and we taught them about 'Me Time'. And it's quite surprising that the parents actually said to us it was the first time they heard about 'Me Time'," Leung said.
The final part of the programme is the launch of a self-help app which will guide troubled young people through mental health first aid when company is lacking.
"One of the things the kids mentioned to us was they felt very lonely because they didn't know who to turn to during Covid if they had any issues, so we wanted to help them build up a platform where they can find a network and they feel comfortable confiding in each other," Leung added.
If you want to find out more about Operation Santa Claus or wish to make a donation, visit the Operation Santa Claus website.