Inclusion and Equality for All
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) staged a community roadshow with the Caritas Community Centre - Tsuen Wan today (25 November 2001) at the Tsuen Wan Plaza. "Accepting Persons with a Mental/Ex-Mental Illness" was the theme of the event. This community roadshow was part of the EO Expo 2001, which promotes the concept of "Inclusion and Equality for All".
Ms Anna Wu, Chairperson of EOC, Mr Lu Tak-ming, District Officer (Tsuen Wan/Kwai Tsing) of Social Welfare Department, and Ms Maggie Chan, Coordinator of the Youth Community Service of Caritas - Hong Kong officiated at the opening ceremony.
Ms Anna WU, Chairperson of EOC said, "The concept of equal opportunities is about acceptance and respect. Many people have misconceptions about persons with a mental illness, assuming that they are lazy, weak, or a threat to the community. This kind of stigmatization is unfair to persons with a mental illness/ex-mental illness and their families."
"Persons with a mental illness and their families are protected under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance. Since 1996, the EOC has received over 220 complaint cases related to mental illness, among which 147 were employment-related. It is unfortunate that persons with mental illnesses are deprived of job opportunities simply because of the stigma associated with the disease. Removal of stereotypical assumptions will enable them to enjoy equal opportunities to develop their potential to the fullest."
A panel discussion on "Understanding and Accepting People with a Mental Illness", with speakers including Dr Tsang Fan-kwong, Senior Medical Officer, Castle Peak Hospital, Dr Ferrick Chu, Chief Equal Opportunities Officer (EOC), and a family member of a person recovered from mental illness was the highlight of today's roadshow. Today's events also included an exhibition, prize presentations, and a performance by a winner of the Hong Kong Students' Speech Contest.
"I hope that today's activities can help raise public awareness about mental illness and that people will convey the message to their families, colleagues and friends. We should eliminate discriminatory attitudes and learn to accept persons with a mental illness/ex-mental illness. They have every right to lead an independent life and fully participate in society." said Ms Maggie Chan, Coordinator of the Youth Community Service of Caritas - Hong Kong
For press enquiries, please contact Mr Sam Ho, Equal Opportunities Commission at 2106-2187.
Enquiry: Mr. Sam HO 21062187