Health Resources
Public + Private Mental Health System In Summary
  • Primary Care or Non-Specialist Setting

  • Specialist Care Setting

  • Step Up Referral Pathway

  • Step Down Referral Pathway

Source: Our HK Foundation
Mental Health Statistic

One in two people globally will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime (source: Harvard Medical School).

Mental Health Categorisation Hong Kong
  • General population
    (“Well” and at-risk)

    School leavers

    Teenage mothers

    Isolated elderly

    People with chronic illness

    Office workers

  • Common mental

    Anxiety disorders


  • Severe mental

    Psychotic disorders

    Bipolar disorder

Mental Health Care
Categorisation Hong Kong
  • STEP 1

    Self-help & active monitoring

    All mental health professional (particularly GPs/FMs) & online resources

    Health Resources
  • STEP 2

    Low-intensity therapy

    Psychological well-being officer/occupational therapist

  • STEP 3

    Self-help & active monitoring

    Counsellor /
    Trained social worker

  • STEP 4

    Specialists Mental Health services

    Psychiatrist / Clinical psychologist

    Online Therapy
    Trauma Programmes
Seeking Help In The Public Mental Health System
Hospital Authority (“HA”)
Other Services And Resources
Other Services And Resources
While Navigating the Mental Health System Problems & Solutions
  • Shortage of Mental Health Professionals
    Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists are core mental health service providers within Hong Kong's existing service landscape. Hong Kong's psychiatrist-to-population ratio is currently 7.55 per 100,000 persons, trailing behind OECD average of 18.00. Hong Kong's psychologist-to-population ratio is 8.15 per 100,000 persons, trailing behind OECD average of 53.00 (Source: Our HK Foundation)
    Open Heart is a platform (APAC registered psychologists) which provides online therapy services to clients.
    Shortage of Mental Health professionals in HK leads to higher prices locally, so Open Heart is more affordable.
  • Psychiatry vs Clinical Psychologists
    Of the people willing to seek professional mental health support, over half (53%) see a psychiatrist, even if their needs could be potentially met in other treatment modalities / lower-level non-specialist setting.
    Online Therapy with registered clinical psychologists is an alternative treatment method to psychiatry
  • Psychiatry Specialist Out-pa-tient Clinics ("PSY SOPC")Require Long Waiting Time
    For example, Waiting time for stable case in Kowloon East's: median 52 weeks & longest 95 weeks.
    Online Therapy is one of the solutions for clients as it is immediate and effective.
  • Stigma
    Hong Kong is still challenged by mental health stigma which has been identified as a barrier to help-seeking
    Online Therapy is private and secure. It may help and reduce stigmatization.
  • Lack of Understanding of mental health
    General public does not have in depth knowledge about mental health
    Open Heart has a wellness ecosystem which provides free mental health resources.

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Other Information

In the 12 months (01 April 2022 - 31 March 2023). there were 51.271 new case booking in Psychiatry Specialist
Out-patient Clinics, with waiting time as follows:

New case booking(2) Waiting Time
Number Percentage Hong kong East Hong kong west Kowloon Central Kowloon East Kowloon West New territo-Ries East New territo-Ries West
Urgent Case 2,563 5% Median Less than 1 week 1 week Less than 1 week 1 week Less than 1 week 1 week 1 week
Semi-urgent Case 10,096 20% Median 3 week 4 week 4 week 3 week 4 week 4 week 3 week
Stable Case 38,608 75% Median 18 week 41 week 18 week 52 week 29 week 65 week 55 week
Longest 60 week 87 week 55 week 95 week 93 week 93 week 87 week

(For reference only)
Date of Next Update: 31 July 2023

Source: (Hong Kong FP)