23 / 2 / 2024


Jockey Club launches initiatives to combat mental health crisis among young and elderly


Hong Kong is facing a mental health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as socio-economic pressures, have raised stress levels across the community. The situation is most critical among the young and the elderly. According to a survey, 2.8 per cent of Hong Kong students said they had suicidal thoughts in the 2022/23 academic year. For the elderly, deteriorating health coupled with loneliness and bereavement leaves them at greater risk of depression and suicide.


Responding to this urgent need in our community, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has approved HK$790 million to fund eight mental health initiatives. Specifically, they will target the needs of young people and Hong Kong・s growing population of elderly.


Outlining the Club・s donation at a press conference today (23 February), Club Steward Lester Huang explained that the Club is adopting a multi-pronged approach to address these metal health challenges. Working with the government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), social service units, schools and academia, the eight initiatives will provide both online and offline emotional support at the primary care, school and community levels. Territory-wide monitoring will also be carried out to measure impact. The initiatives are expected to support more than 154,000 people.


Guests attending the press conference sharing session included Dr Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health; Dr Donald Li, Chairman of the Elderly Commission and Convenor of the Advisory Committee of JC JoyAge; and Kwan Chuk-fai, Chairman of the Community Investment & Inclusion Fund Committee and Convenor of the Advisory Committee of LevelMind@JC.


Dr Lam said that many mental health problems can be prevented and he called for a collaborative effort among families, schools and the community to implement preventive measures at all levels.


On elderly mental health, Dr Li said there is a need to build synergy between medical and social services so as to enhance community support and strengthen the overall resilience of older adults.  In particular, the new phase of JC JoyAge will promote mental health at the primary care level through partnering with District Health Centres.


Discussing youth mental health, Mr. Kwan said that the public stigma surrounding mental health, along with the non-youth-oriented and fragmented nature of services, makes it difficult for young people to open up and find the support they need. To address the mental health crisis and establish a sustainable support system, it is crucial for relevant services to adopt a youth-centric perspective, providing accessible and one-stop assistance. Empowering young people with mental health self-management skills, nurturing their interests, and setting developmental goals are also vital.


The eight initiatives supported by the Club are as follows, with specific details to be announced in due course.


From Young to Older People

Expansion and scaling up of LevelMind@JC

LevelMind@JC, initiated and funded by the Club・s Charities Trust, will expand its successful integrated school-community one-stop mental health support to 130 secondary schools. Students and teachers will be encouraged to co-create :Wellness Hubs; and :Wellness Clubs;, reaching an estimated 80,000 students. Mental wellness self-management training will be provided to students and teachers and youth workers.


Expansion of JC JoyAge to provide mental health support to a wider age range via District Health Centres

JC JoyAge, a project initiated and funded by the Club・s Charities Trust, will be expanded to support a wider age group aged 45 and above. Specifically, it will initiate a pilot project with three District Health Centres to provide mental health support services at the primary care level. Around 13,000 at-risk and depressed individuals are expected to be served in the new phase.


Additional support for social service units

Nine NGOs will roll out programmes to strengthen the capacity of social service units providing mental support services to students and their families. In addition, the programmes will enhance frontline professionals・ competency in crisis management. These programmes will support students, parents and professionals, including providing immediate support to those in need.


Online and Offline Services

Enhancement and expansion of Jockey Club Online Youth Emotional Support :Open Up;

The current capacity of Open Up, a 24/7 online and text-based emotional support service will be expanded by 100%, providing professional counselling services to 22,000 young people per year. The project will be promoted in schools, the community and via social media.


Online psychotherapy for tertiary students

The Jockey Club TourHeart+ Project will provide online psychotherapy to tertiary students via an AI-enabled chatbot. The chatbot, which will provide services in Cantonese, Putonghua and English, will benefit 38,000 new users over four years and potentially reach the entire tertiary student population.


Social emotional learning for primary students

Over 5,000 primary students will engage in social-emotional learning for three years through a combination of in-person sessions and a specially-developed online platform. Capacity-building workshops will be organised for teachers and parents.


Community Prevention and Monitoring

Early warning system for suicide prevention

The Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention Centre of the University of Hong Kong will develop an :early warning system for suicide prevention; to facilitate suicide prevention by schools and other parties.


Territory-wide impact monitoring of youth mental health

The School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong will continuously track youth mental health via a community-based and territory-wide longitudinal cohort. 8,000 young people will be recruited to participate in the cohort.


The Club・s support for these mental health initiatives, like all its charity donations, is made possible by its unique integrated business model through which racing and wagering generate employment, tax and charity support for the community.


The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the HKSAR Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2022/23, the Club returned a total of HK$35.9 billion to the community. This included HK$28.6 billion to the HKSAR Government in duty, profits tax and Lotteries Fund contributions and HK$7.3 billion in approved charity donations.  The Club is Hong Kong's largest single taxpayer and one of the city・s major employers. Its Charities Trust is one of the world・s top ten charity donors. Please visit


Photo Captions:

Photo 1:

Club Steward Lester Huang (4th left), Dr Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health (4th right), Dr Donald Li, Chairman of the Elderly Commission and Convenor of the Advisory Committee of JC JoyAge (2nd right), Kwan Chuk-fai, Chairman of the Community Investment & Inclusion Fund Committee and Convenor of the Advisory Committee of LevelMind@JC (2nd left), Club Head of Charities (Healthy Community) Imelda Chan (1st right), Club Head of Charities (Youth Development and Poverty Alleviation) Winnie Ying (1st left), and beneficiaries of JC JoyAge (3rd right) and LevelMind@JC (3rd left), pose for a group photo.


Photo 2:

Club Steward Lester Huang delivers opening remarks at the press conference.


Photo 3:

Highlights of the Club・s mental health initiatives.



Photos can be downloaded from the website of The Hong Kong Jockey Club (


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