Ombudsman invites public views and information on Social Welfare Department’s support services for persons with mental health problems and their families, carers and neighbours
4 August 2016
The Ombudsman, Ms Connie Lau, today (August 4) invited members of the public to provide views and information on the support services offered by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) for persons with mental health problems and their families, carers and neighbours.
Families, carers and neighbours of persons with mental health problems often feel stress or anxiety. If the parties concerned do not receive timely professional counselling or help, the situation can become very serious.
Currently, the SWD provides services to persons with mental health problems and their families, carers and residents in the neighbourhood through Integrated Community Centres for Mental Wellness (Wellness Centres) in various districts run by non-governmental organisations subvented by the department. The Wellness Centres are tasked to provide one-stop and community-based support services ranging from early prevention to crisis management. The Office of The Ombudsman is concerned about whether the existing services are adequate, and whether proper and timely assistance is provided to those in need. The Ombudsman has, therefore, decided to initiate a direct investigation to examine:
(1) the utilisation and effectiveness of support services provided by the SWD through the Wellness Centres to persons with mental health problems and their families, carers and neighbours;
(2) how the SWD monitors the work and effectiveness of the Wellness Centres; and
(3) whether the SWD has provided the public with adequate information on the services of the Wellness Centres.
The Ombudsman welcomes information and/or views from members of the public on the above subject, particularly in regard to experiences in seeking assistance from the Wellness Centres. Written submissions should reach the Office of The Ombudsman by September 5, 2016:
Address: 30/F, China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre
168-200 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong
Fax: 2882 8149
Office of The Ombudsman
August 4, 2016