Skip to main content

Jan retail sales up 0.9%

The value of total retail sales in January, provisionally estimated at $36.5 billion, rose 0.9% compared with the same month in 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate represents a 1.2% year-on-year decrease.   Of the total retail sales value in January, online sales accounted for 6.5%. Provisionally estimated at $2.4 billion, the value of this segment went down by 20.9% compared with a year earlier.   Noting that retail sales tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, the department said the year-on-year comparison of the figures might have been affected to a certain extent.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts increased 25.2% compared with January 2023.   Increases were also recorded in the sales of other consumer goods not elsewhere classified (up 7

Hands-on approach to mental illness

With the aim of combatting the fear and misconceptions surrounding mental illness, Castle Peak Hospital’s Mind Space museum enables visitors to experience hallucinations, similar to the sensory experiences mentally ill patients encounter, by way of rooms that utilise virtual reality (VR) technology.

 

A group of secondary students recently embarked on a journey through Mind Space after registering and receiving patient wristbands. This unique mental health experience museum provided them with a comprehensive understanding of the development of psychiatric services in Hong Kong.

 

Displays in the museum showcase intriguing relics, including the evolution of restraints and handwritten patient records. Additionally, the students were given the opportunity to explore a mock protection room designed to provide a calming environment for patients.

 

Furthermore, students could learn about the scientific aspects behind the causes of mental illness at the Brain Tour zone. One of the highlights is the Symptom Experience Rooms where VR technology simulates the visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations that those with mental illness can experience.

 

Tremendous influence

Ho Hin-man, a Secondary 6 student, admitted to underestimating the profound impact of mental illness on patients' lives. She said: “Their condition significantly impairs their visual and auditory senses, leading to heightened levels of mental tension, extreme nervousness, and intensified worrying.”

 

Apart from acknowledging that he had a limited understanding of mental illness before taking the Mind Space tour, Chan Ngai-sum, another Secondary 6 student, pointed out that he gained valuable insights from the Symptom Experience Rooms.

 

“I had the chance to personally undergo the sensations that individuals with mental illness encounter. It was an uncanny experience - something intangible yet vividly visible.”

 

Personal experience

Mind Space also employs ex-mentally ill individuals as Peer Support Workers who share their own mental health experiences with visitors. One such Peer Support Worker is Jecko who was diagnosed with psychosis approximately 20 years ago.

 

Jecko recounted experiencing auditory hallucinations during the initial onset of his mental illness, including hearing the crinkling sounds of plastic bags in his apartment or loud noise of pile driving. He also mentioned visual hallucinations of a head popping up from a dehumidifier and tactile hallucinations of insects crawling on his body.

 

Eric, another Peer Support Worker, shared a similar experience. He developed insomnia and had auditory hallucinations subsequently. He described hearing a voice ordering him to board a bus to a destination he did not wish to go to. The experience resulted in him being discovered in the suburb of Tai Po Lam Tsuen.

 

Both Jecko and Eric emphasised the importance of seeking medical assistance and following instructions on prescribed medications, as doing so significantly alleviated the severity of their symptoms.

 

Adequate support

While they highlighted that support from family and friends is crucial, they cautioned that such support should be offered in an appropriate manner.

 

Jecko shared an example involving his sister who genuinely cared about him but expressed it through an overwhelming barrage of questions like, “Have you finished your meal?” “What did you eat?” “How many bowls of rice did you have?” Such detailed interrogation left Jecko feeling uncomfortable, as though he was being subjected to intensive questioning.

 

What is more, he advised relatives and friends not to dismiss patients' symptoms as mere figments of their imagination because such dismissive attitudes can be disheartening and discourage patients from sharing their experiences.

 

Eric made it clear that his role as a Peer Support Worker has given him the opportunity to serve as a role model and demonstrate to the public that mental illness is not a dead end but rather a path to recovery.

 

He expressed that as patients’ relatives witness first-hand the possibilities of recovery, their fears and concerns about their loved ones' conditions are likely to diminish.

 

“They will gain confidence that their relatives can also achieve recovery, just as we have.”

 

Targetting teens

Castle Peak Hospital plans to invite more schools to visit Mind Space with the aim of enhancing young people's understanding of mental illness and mental health.

 

Dr Jane So, Associate Consultant at Castle Peak Hospital, stated that the museum was designed with the youth in mind.

 

She explained that the goal behind the museum is to employ intervention strategies during this crucial phase of their lives, when their values and perspectives on mental health are being shaped, with the objective of correcting any biases they may have and providing education on mental health.

 

Those interested in touring the museum can book online. 


http://dlvr.it/SzdYPn

Popular posts from this blog

Legal officer changes proposed

The Government has proposed to amend the law to allow legal officers of the Department of Justice to be appointed as a senior counsel.   At a media session after attending a Legislative Council meeting today, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng explained the rationale behind the Government's proposal.   She said: “Why is it that my colleagues in the Department of Justice - who by their qualifications are solicitors but are actually arguing very well and very efficiently with great eloquence and efficacy in the Court of Final Appeal - are not being recognised when they are actually even better than their counterparts? That has always been something that sometimes troubles me.   “And for that reason, I have always been thinking about how we are going to overcome that problem.   “Now, what really triggers my determination to take this further forward is when one of our Deputy Directors of Public Prosecutions, Vinci Lam, took silk on May 29.   “That really showed that the form

CE to meet Congo president

Chief Executive John Lee will meet Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo at Government House tomorrow, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced today.   The Congo president is in the People’s Republic of China for a state visit and will arrive in Hong Kong for a two-day trip. http://dlvr.it/Spnmcs

Skewed remarks about NSL rejected

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today said it strongly disapproved of and firmly rejected the wanton slanders and smears concerning the implementation of “one country, two systems” and the National Security Law (NSL) in Hong Kong by certain US and UK politicians.   In a statement issued tonight, the Hong Kong SAR Government noted that such slanders and smears were recently made through a statement by certain members of the US Senate on the 26th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and the third anniversary of the implementation of the NSL, and by the House of Commons of the UK Parliament through a debate on the aforesaid third anniversary.   It said it strongly disapproves of and firmly rejects the unfounded remarks and slanders by the US and UK politicians regarding the Hong Kong SAR where “one country, two systems” is successfully implemented.   It also strongly urges the politicians to immediately stop acting against the international law and