Family support is paramount! FAMILY: A Jockey Club Initiative for a Harmonious Society held a press conference on 21 May to announce findings of “Study on Family Support”. Results have shown that good family support can significantly reduce the adverse effects caused by stress on the quality of mental health.
The FAMILY Project completed the first phase of territory-wide household survey with data from 8,481 families. Among them, 7,715 families (including 17,082 individuals) had completed data relating to mental health and family satisfaction. According to the self-rated Mental Health-Related Quality of Life survey, Hong Kong people had a mean of 53.5 on the Mental Component Subscale (MCS), which is comparatively higher than neighboring countries and cities with scores from 49.5 to 51.1.
The top three stressful life events were “My workload is very heavy.”, “My family’s or my own financial situation have/has worsen.” and “A member or members of my family had a serious health problem(s).” Both the existence and number of stressful life events were associated with worse Mental Health-Related Quality of Life (MCS). Greater improvement in Mental Health-Related Quality of Life was associated with better family support among respondents with stressful life events than those without. It could thus be seen that strong family support should not be neglected.
Prof Lam Tai-hing, Principal Investigator of FAMILY Project has suggested that we can express our gratitude and praises to our families more often so as to provide them with more support. We can practice simple acts such as saying thank you and praising them when they lend you a helping hand, provide a listening ear for your family members and giving them your emotional support. At the same time, Prof Sophia Chan Siu-chee, Co-Investigator of FAMILY Project encourages us to spend more quality time with family members, such as, to cook and have your meals with your family.