Event Archive

Seeing Life Through the Lens of Horticultural Therapy (一花一世界)

Fall 2023

Horticultural therapy is a process led by trained therapists purposefully using plants and gardens in therapeutic activities designed to positively affect a set of defined health outcomes for individuals. Many research findings validated mental health benefits when it promotes positive feelings, relief from acute stress, and a sense of purpose and hope during the process.

This workshop was facilitated by Dr Nicolson Siu, a registered Horticultural Therapist of the Hong Kong Association of Therapeutic Horticulture as well as a lecturer of Division of Social Science, HKUST. Participants were able to engage in various cognitive processes through gentle touches and utilized creativity with scarce resources to create simple but unique moss puzzles. Participants were also given the opportunity to share their hands-on experience and realized that they were able to overcome difficulties by themselves and create their unique paths in life.

Participants were encouraged to continue cherishing and respecting life of the moss puzzle they created. Tips on how to nurture and take care of the moss puzzles were also shared.

Nurturing Ourselves - From Self-Criticism to Self-Compassion

Fall 2023

Living in a competitive city like Hong Kong, the society celebrates efficiency, productivity, achievements etc. Perhaps for a majority of us, always striving for better academic achievements or comparing career prospects, could be criticising ourselves day in and day out, affecting our mood and stress without even noticing.

In this talk, Dr Melissa Chan, Clinical Psychologist from Central Minds, discussed the concept of self-compassion as the antidote to self-criticism. The functions of the three emotion regulation systems, namely drive system, threat system and soothing system were explained to facilitate participants in acquiring strategies to cultivate self-compassion and be more nurturing to themselves, bringing a positive impact to our mood and promote growth in a more positive way.

Attain Clarity and Peace of Mind through Cultivating Awareness

Fall 2023

Singing bowls provide a powerful means for reconnecting the mind and body, allowing individuals to focus on the resonating tones and vibrations, becoming more present and attuned to their physical sensations.

In this workshop, Ms Charmaine Mok, counselor and Singing Bowls Facilitator, Mindful Living Academy, has provided participants with an immersive experience to explore the remarkable effects of sound and vibration on their well-being, attaining clarity in the process. Through guided meditation, participants also gained a heightened sense of self-awareness, established a deeper connection to their inner selves and experienced deep relaxation and felt recharged.

Thrive in Life with Stress and Tension

Fall 2023

University life could be full of new challenges, changes, and experiences. Some of these are exciting, some others could leave us feeling stressed. Right amount of stress can be good and motivate us to achieve our goals, yet, too much of it can impair our well-being.

In this talk, Ms Sherry Im, Clinical Psychologist from New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, leveraged on polls to explore different sources of stress and found that academic stress and worries about future were the most common stressors experienced by participants.

Cognitive behavioral strategies drawn from evidence-based psychological approaches were then shared to facilitate participants in engaging in flexible thinking to avoid common thinking traps and alter their thoughts and perception about self, others, or situations that could reduce stress and tension. Practical tips for building resilience were also shared to facilitate participants to live a balancing and nourishing lifestyle to live a fruitful university life without cracking under stress.

JUSTalk Series (Vol. 2) – Unleashing Your Potential by Embracing Personal Growth 問心講 ─ 從心尋路向

Fall 2023

The workshop adopted the concept of a human library, featuring guest speakers who were Peer Companions supported by the Counseling and Wellness Center and Ambassadors from Community Mental Wellness Education Service, Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service. The speakers courageously shared their experiences of mental illness and emotional distress and discussed how they navigated these challenges in their personal development journeys. They explored stress management strategies while pursuing personal growth pathways and emphasized the significance of embracing flaws and changing perspectives. With the intention of fostering self-acceptance, facilitating honest discussions about failure, bolstering resilience, encouraging a culture of seeking help, and nurturing the exchange of wisdom among peers, the workshop provided an environment where student participants could actively engage with guest speakers and acquire valuable insights and learn from the shared experiences.

Navigating Mental Health Crises: Strategies for Support and Recovery

Fall 2023

Mental health challenges can be overwhelming, and crisis situations could be particularly daunting for individuals experiencing them.

In this talk, Ms Sheri Wong, Psychiatric-Mental Health Registered Nurse from the Counseling and Wellness Center, HKUST, leveraged on interactive activities and case studies to explain practical strategies for identifying early warning signs, intervening effectively, and connecting individuals-in-need with appropriate resources.

By the end of the talk, participants were equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a positive difference in the lives of those experiencing mental health challenges, as well as promoting recovery and resilience in the aftermath of a crisis.

JUSTalk Vol.1 - Navigating Academics and Mental Well-being 讀書「搭尋船」

Fall 2023

The workshop rides on the concept of Human Library, which featured guest speakers from the Peer Companions supported by the Counseling and Wellness Center and Mind HK Ambassadors. The speakers shared their personal experiences and challenges they faced in academics, along with the strategies they employed to navigate those difficulties. These strategies included changing perspectives, seeking resources, establishing peer connections, and utilizing counseling services. The workshop aimed to encourage self-acceptance, foster open dialogue about failure, enhance resilience, promote a culture of seeking help, and facilitate the exchange of wisdom among peers. Through engaging with the guest speakers, student participants gained valuable insights and learned from shared experiences, creating a supportive and empowering environment.

Understand Yourself and Connect with Others

Fall 2023

The workshop focused on attachment theory and its impact on personal development and interpersonal connections. It addressed common challenges students face, such as social media comparison, difficulties in being heard, fitting in, and homesickness. The workshop also explored the physiological responses associated with these challenges. Strategies for managing emotional well-being were provided, including changing perspectives, fostering understanding, effective communication, and recognizing the significance of small changes. Self-hypnosis was introduced as a potential tool for managing emotional distress in social interactions, with practical exercises shared. Participants in the workshop gained valuable insights into their own attachment styles and developed strategies to manage emotional well-being in various challenging situations effectively and foster stronger interpersonal connections.

Re-connecting with Parents as a Young Adult

Fall 2023

As students transition into university, having a understanding, supportive and loving connection with parents can provide a sense of safety and allow one to cope more effectively when facing inevitable changes and stressors in the outside world.

In this talk, Ms Fiona Tsang, experienced counselor from THE COMPANIONS, shared tips on understanding and validating one's own emotions, identifying communication patterns, and communicating unmet expectations. Participants also learned how to appreciate and connect with their parents as young adults.

Fiona also facilitated guided meditation and shared her personal story on understanding oneself and one’s parents as individuals, beyond their roles as daughter/son or mother/father, allowing participants to reflect on their own expectation and learn new ways to connect with family and relationships as they move through different roles as a young adult.

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Building Connections 告別小獨獨

Fall 2023

Social connections made during university study could become valuable networks of support for years to come. However, students might at times be held back or overwhelmed by social anxiety - a prevalent yet rarely discussed challenge faced by many university students.

In this talk, Ms Tsang Ka Po, Clinical Psychologist from New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, leveraged on short clips to illustrate common features of social anxiety that often hold students back from making social connections and their struggles in building relationships.

Practical strategies and relaxation techniques drawn from evidence-based psychological approaches were then shared to facilitate participants in engaging in flexible thinking and overcoming social challenges. Interactive polls were also used to invite participants to reflect on their social goals. Tips to take small steps to expand friendship/relationship circle via initiating and maintaining relationships were also shared and illustrated with videos.