Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Staged Roadshow to Promote Equal Opportunities for Persons with a Mental Illness


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) staged a community roadshow today (1 April 2000) at East Point City, Tseung Kwan O where Members of the Legislative Council and the District Board, as well as representatives from disability groups joined to promote acceptance of persons with a mental illness.

"Equal opportunities is about mutual respect and about using human resources effectively," said Ms. Anna Wu, Chairperson of the EOC. "There is an unfortunate misconception among some employers and a sector of the public that persons with a mental illness are a threat to the community and should be avoided once they are identified. This kind of prejudice is grossly unfair to some 92,000 people with a mental illness in Hong Kong."

"Persons with a mental illness can lead a normal life with proper treatment and care. Regular clinical treatment, medication, appropriate counseling and community support all play a part in stabilising the condition and securing recovery. A person whose mental health condition has been stabilized can and should be entitled to lead a normal life just like you and me. There is absolutely no reason why they should be portrayed as dangerous, violent or as rejects of the society."

"Persons with or associated with mental illness is protected under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance," said Ms. Anna Wu. "Since 1996, the EOC has received 91 complaints by persons with a mental illness, of which 56 are related to employment (62%). Of the remaining 35 (38%) non-employment related complaints, 22 are related to the provision of goods, services and facilities - and in this area, there is a growing number of complaints."

The event was the eighth of a series of roadshows to promote equal opportunities in 18 districts throughout the territory.

Participating in the discussion session were Mr. WONG Wang-fat, Mr. CHENG Kar-foo, Members of the Legislative Council; Mr. CHAN Chiu-cheung, Chairman of The Concord Mutual Aid Club Alliance; Ms. Helen Tsou, a volunteer who has dedicated her time in serving persons with a mental illness; Mr. CHAU Yin-ming, Vice Chairman of Sai Kung District Board and Mr. Frederick TONG Kin-sang, Director (Disability) of the Equal Opportunities Commission.

"I hope that the discussion today on discrimination against persons with a mental illness would help change prejudice and discriminating attitude. At the same time, I hope that employers will recognise an individual's merits based on consistent selection criteria instead of focusing on irrelevant factors," said Ms. Anna Wu.

"The EOC plans to further promote acceptance of persons with a mental illness through an educational programme. It includes forums and leaflets targeting the mass media; roadshows, radio programmes and educational talks targeting the general public; informational leaflets aiming at empowering persons with a mental illness, and seminars organized for medical and social service workers to promote and strengthen their advocacy role for persons with a mental illness," Ms. Anna Wu added.

In addition to the discussion session, the roadshow at Tseung Kwan O featured exhibitions, video presentations promoting employment opportunities for persons with a mental illness, quiz games and a "meet the public" session.

For press enquiries, please contact:

Miss Eunice CHAN, Publicity Officer

Tel.: 2106 2250

Enquiry: Miss Eunice CHAN       21062250