Recovery in Hong Kong: service user participation in mental health services

Int Rev Psychiatry. 2012 Feb;24(1):40-7. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2011.646244.


This article provides an overview of mental health services (MHS) and the application of the recovery concept in Hong Kong, focusing on user participation. It presents stakeholders' views of the recovery movement in a round-table discussion format, demonstrating agreement that user participation merits more public and official attention. Some of the present difficulties with the movement are also reviewed. Social identity theory (SIT) is then analysed as a potentially useful framework for theorizing how service users' identities change as they become service providers. The paper then provides an overview of the current financial and political position of MHS, and identifies signs that the recovery approach is becoming accepted. It also addresses the cultural meanings of the concept, and sets out examples of its implementation in the health and social welfare sectors. Lastly, it summarizes the challenges facing service providers and users and concludes that as the recovery movement is still in its infancy in Hong Kong, more coordinated efforts are needed to establish the organizational support and policy framework, so that sustainable and evidence-based service provision can be achieved.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Sector / organization & administration
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mental Health Services* / organization & administration
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Social Identification
  • Social Work / organization & administration