Project Change- Vision and Mission
A recent study published by the University of Hong Kong revealed that roughly one out of ten (9.1%) Hong Kong residents is afflicted by depression. The study also suggested that one in every five Hong Kong citizens surveyed during the 2019 Anti-Extradition Bill Movement protests might be severely depressed or suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In particular, there exists a worryingly significant number of youths who have been arrested and are facing trial as a result of their involvement in the past year of protests; these youths are perennially vexed as they undergo the judiciary process. In accordance with statistics released by the police, up until the end of August 2021, 10,267 persons have been arrested in association with protest activities, with over 60% of them aged under 25. From this and other sources, we estimate around 6,400 youths under age 25 have been arrested. Out of these, around 1,000 are facing trial, and around 4,000 are awaiting investigation with the possibility of being prosecuted. In other words, about 5,000 youths are facing a long legal process.
Project Change endeavours to cater to these 5,000 youths aged 25 or below. These youths must currently endure the substantial uncertainty and fears associated with the judicial process, the potential stigma associated with their arrests, the criticisms and pressure they must face from family and friends, as well as the plausibly traumatic experiences of being detained. Should these youths be prosecuted, this could also imprint upon them all sorts of long-lasting harms – ranging from exclusion by prospective employers and schools, ostracisation by their peers, as well as severely impaired mental and physical health. These harms could well spill over, thereby undermining both sociopolitical stability and the economy’s productivity. In light of the gargantuan challenges confronting these youths, Project Change advocates an education- and therapy-driven approach in aiding these youths in re-integrating into society; this is in lieu of an excessively punitive approach. Our cross-disciplinary, professional team will be offering psychological counselling to arrested youths for up to two years.
Our project strives to ensure that arrested youths could make well-informed, autonomous, and independent decisions when confronted with prospective trial. As such, our project has been ardently providing politically neutral and non-partisan therapy and support to those undergoing the judiciary process.
Regardless of where you stand politically or ideologically, we hope you’d agree that the wellbeing of our future generations ought to be our priority.