Episode 5 “A Window of Hope”
Guests: Kearen PANG X KEI Sik-hung (Shop Supervisor, Cheers Gallery Rehab Links / Person in Recovery)
The society has been promoting inclusion and community rehabilitation. There are social enterprises which operate shops to put these abstract concepts into practice, such that the people in recovery could earn their own living, build up their self-esteem and reintegrate into the community.
In this episode, Kearen PANG will visit a social enterprise as a trainee to experience the operation of the shop for one day. She will receive training from KEI Sik-hung, the shop supervisor, hoping to understand through interaction at work, how people in recovery work and reintegrate into the society, as well as the importance of a pleasant working environment to promoting mental health.
Sik-hung understands the importance of mental health very much as he has been there. The signs of the illness appeared when he was a student. It was at the time of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Exam (HKCEE) when he woke up one day and found an extract of a song kept repeating in his head. He endured the never-ending song throughout the HKCEE, but was diagnosed with depression in Form 7. However, he was naïve to believe that he could tackle emotional problems on his own back then. After that, he was always idling at home since he did not gain admission to the university, and eventually suffered from schizophrenia with the symptom of delusion. Two years later, Sik-hung gradually became better. He had been to a day hospital for training and a sheltered workshop to work, then he had worked as a janitor at school and had washed cars for teachers, but he was dismissed for being all thumbs. From one place to another, he finally came to the rehab shop.
Kearen came to the shop today as a trainee. She will be a trainee for one day, and also make “Friend for a Day” with Sik-hung. Sik-hung teaches her patiently from the basics, and she learns about the products and different duties such as warehouse management and merchandising. Trainee is actually the origin of Sik-hung in the past. Since he started working at the shop, his passion towards his work has never declined. When his supervisor asked him to work night shifts, he always agreed readily and never complained. Besides, when Sik-hung was asked to handle some procedures unknown to him, he would try to work them out actively. After some ten years, he has been promoted from a trainee to a shop supervisor. What obstacles has he encountered during his transformation? And what does he feel?
Kearen will also attend the “Mental Health First Aid Class” with Sik-hung to learn about common mental health issues and the intervening principles, and deepen their understanding about mental health, such that they could provide appropriate assistance to others when necessary.
“When talking about mental health at work place, does it mean we should adapt to the society, or does the society expect everyone to live together?”