Hong Fook Mental Health Association
(36 members – Alan Lam, Cecilia Yung, Cici Ho, Clara Lee, Derek Du, Elsa Chu, Emillie Nguyen, Erica Wan, Hearan Jin, Jade Zhang, Jason Wong, John Huang, Joseph Shan, Julia Mo, Katie Chen, Kim Nguyen, Kitty Wong, Kyeong Won, Linda Wen, Liping Peng, Mei Cai, Michael Wong, Mony Mok, Moshe Sakal, Na Young Suh, Quoc Truong, Rita No, Sandy Koo, Sauwai Cheung, Sha Sha Shen,Soyeon Kang, Sunny Siu,Tweety Yuen,Van Truong, Vicky Liu, Zita Long).
Hong Fook’s Culturally Competent Recovery College is the first of its kind in Canada to adapt the innovative Recovery College model in a culturally appropriate, language-specific way. The blend of personal and professional experience in mental health underpins the work of this team, consisting of mental health workers, management and support staff, and a range of peer positions for individuals with lived experience, including peer coach, peer supporter workers and peer supporters.
Since the launch of this College in 2019 and throughout the pandemic, the team have collaboratively realigned their work and efforts to this service model with a better focus on empowering peers to lead their recovery lives and contributing to others’ recovery journey, while compassionately taking care of each other to cope with their own burnout and COVID fatigue faced by the significantly increasing community demands and long wait time for clinical services.
The well-trained 20+ peer supporters are valuable asset, which not only reduces the perceived power imbalances between staff and clients that are often found in mental health service delivery, but also addresses the workplace retention and recruitment issues, especially to staff serving racialized communities that are required to understand the community and those being served.