Strengthening Secondary School Students’ Mental Health Through the Gatekeeper–Peer Power Programme: Preliminary Findings (78977)

Session Information: Mental Health, Psychology & Education
Session Chair: Randolph Chun Ho Chan

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 17:20
Session: Session 5
Room: Room 605
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

To address the pressing mental health needs among secondary school students in Hong Kong, our unit has been running the Gatekeeper–Peer Power Programme, which aims to foster a culture of peer support and create a mental health-friendly school environment through ambassador training. Over three years, the programme has been introduced in 110 schools, nurturing over 2,000 ambassadors. In recognition of the close relationship between emotion regulation and mood disorders, the curriculum focuses on teaching adaptive emotion regulation strategies, recognizing common mental health disorders in adolescents, and knowledge of self-harm and suicide. Peer counseling skills and strategies for promoting mental health in school are also covered. During the 2022/23 academic year, two programme modes were employed: Mode 1 (two 2-hour sessions plus a one-day camp) with 264 participants and Mode 2 (four 2-hour sessions) with 116 participants. To assess the programme's effectiveness, participants’ pre- and post-programme use of various emotion regulation strategies, social connectedness to different groups, and aspects of psychological well-being were assessed through self-report. Results showed significant improvements in Community Connectedness across both modes. Additionally, depending on the modes, students reported increased use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies (Awareness in Mode 1; Sensations and Acceptance in Mode 2) and improved well-being (Future Orientation in Mode 1; Confidence, Life Satisfaction, and Positive Affect in Mode 2). Regarding sex differences, the observed improvements were predominantly found in male but not female participants. Furthermore, students’ qualitative feedback highlighted their appreciation for and interest in emotion regulation strategies and peer counseling skills.

Wai Man Yip, Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, Hong Kong
Ho Yin Tsui, Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, Hong Kong
Yu Shan Wang, Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
Mr. Yip is a dedicated Counsellor focused on mental health, collaborating with the Hong Kong Educational Bureau on the Gatekeeper - Peer Power Training Program, training students as mental health ambassadors to foster a positive school environment.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00