How can we support people in our communities to be healthy, have strong relationships, and live fulfilling lives? These are all issues of mental wellness. Over the last 20 years we have realized that it is not enough for people to be physically healthy; if they are going to enjoy their lives they also need to be mentally well. Mental wellness is a complex concept since there are so many aspects that make up a mind that is healthy, socially engaged, and capable of taking positive action. In addition, many aspects of modern life, such as urban density, stress, poverty, and poor physical health can all have detrimental effects on mental wellness.
The Faculty of Social Sciences has a diverse group of researchers, all of whom have the improvement of mental wellness as a key ambition. We believe that by bringing these researchers together into a coherent research cluster, we have the opportunity to build a world-class research programme in the area of mental wellness. At the most fundamental level, we co-host the State Key Laboratory in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, which is dedicated to research on how the brain supports emotional responding. We have a number of research centres, such as the Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, the Sau Po Centre on Ageing, and the Centre on Behavioural Health, that provide core competency in gerontology, positive ageing, and mental health challenges across all sectors of society. We have Social and Health Psychologists interested in the enhancement of social bonds across groups of people, and Clinical Psychologists and Social Workers who work actively to promote mental wellness in diverse communities in Hong Kong, Greater China, and across the globe. Social Media plays an increasingly important role in facilitating mental wellness, and will be incorporated within the cluster in collaboration with JMSC.
We will build a research cluster in the area of mental wellness, with a number of distinct but overlapping pillars: