6 June 2023

Statement: The Zubin Foundation Extends its Condolences to the Family in the Sham Shui Po Tragic Incidence | More Support is Required to Address the Mental Health Needs of Ethnic Minorities

The Zubin Foundation is saddened by the tragic deaths of the three young children in the local ethnic minority community. The Foundation extends its condolences to the family and friends of all concerned.

The Foundation operates the only helpline for women and girls in crisis in Hindi, Urdu and English and we answer to all those who need help to call the helpline Call Mira on 9682 3100.

The mental health of ethnic minorities is in a precarious state with poverty and social exclusion, and the situation has worsened since the onset of COVID. In 2021 the Call Mira helpline received 856 calls from women and girls in distress and in 2022 it was 702.
According to a recent report published by The Zubin Foundation in March this year, 80% of those who reached out to seek one to one counselling through our Ethnic Minority Well-being Centre score severe or extremely severe in the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and 23% of the help seekers exhibit suicidal or self-harm risks. 85% of those seeking counselling support were women and 58% were aged 30 or below.
The most common issues triggering mental health concerns are family conflicts. In intergenerational conflicts, contributing factors include differences in values between traditional parents and contemporary children, forced marriage, unfair treatment of girls and disturbed family environments. In marital conflicts, power imbalances, disagreements on family issues, extramarital relationships and lack of communication impact the relationships of the individuals. Due to close family ties, extended families are actively involved in household and child matters, and this can also be a contributing factor of mental health concerns. Clients also referenced both past and present experiences of domestic violence and other forms of trauma. Managing a large family was also a source of stress for the families.

The Ethnic Minority Well-being Centre is a joint project between The Zubin Foundation and the Department of Psychiatry of The University of Hong Kong, funded by Lee Hysan Foundation and Croucher Foundation. It offers free one-to-one counselling service to South Asian and Southeast Asian from low-income families in Hong Kong. The service was provided by ethnically South Asian counsellors who understand the cultures and speak English as well as Hindi, Urdu or Nepali. The team also delivered talks and workshops to raise awareness in the community. The Foundation also runs a Child Counselling Centre to support ethnic minority children aged 5 to 15. For counselling service, call or WhatsApp 9682 3100.

Please see the press release here: English | 中文