(Hong Kong, 14 July 2023) Tung Wah Group of Hospitals held a press conference for The Evaluation of TWGHs PRIDE Line Hotline Service and Exploring LGBTQ+ Needs & Help-seeking Pattern in Hong Kong Cum Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration for Supporting LGBTQ+ Seminar today (14 July 2023). Honorable guests include LOW Chen-yang, Head of Community Services Division, TWGHs; Brenda CHUNG Yin-ting, Senior Section Manager of Youth & Family Services Section, Community Services Division, TWGHs; Dr. HUANG Yu-te, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, the University of Hong Kong; Dr KWOK Kan, Diana, Associate Professor, Department of Special Education and Counselling, the Education University of Hong Kong, and Dr. MAK Kai-lok, The Chairman of Asia PATH, Specialist in Psychiatry.
TWGHs PRIDE Line, a designated 24-hour hotline service for LGBTQ+ and their family members and friends, was established in January 2018. Regarding the expanding LGBTQ+ community in Hong Kong, and a genuine need to review the effectiveness of PRIDE Line, the Community Services Division of TWGHs cooperated with the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of the University of Hong Kong to conduct an evaluation study in 2020. Telephone interviews, focus groups and online survey were used in this study to collect information from 97 PRIDE Line service users and 381 LGBTQ+ respondents aged 18 or above in Hong Kong, in order to understand their opinions on PRIDE Line services, and their needs for various support services as well as their help-seeking patterns respectively.
The research result shows that the TWGHs PRIDE Line demonstrated a significant positive effect on alleviating the negative emotions of service users. Apart from the caller’s satisfaction with the hotline counsellor, Dr Huang Yu-te also highlighted that the establishment of therapeutic alliance with callers also contributed to the effectiveness of hotline services. In addition, TWGHs PRIDE Line had performed well in the confidentiality, accessibility and availability. Besides, the interviewees of focus groups also suggested that PRIDE Line could add online platforms to offer more ways to provide real time response towards LGBTQ+ needs.
The result of online survey shows that 21% of the respondents had experienced intimate partner violence. 38% and 17% of the respondents had experienced psychological violence in family and intimate relationships respectively. Another finding shows 52% of the respondents were defamed and/ mocked owe to their LGBTQ+ identity, 31% of the respondents were rejected by their family members, and 28% of the respondents were not welcomed at religious venues. Furthermore, it is more difficult for the interviewees to come out to colleagues than to family and friends. In addition, the study finds that only 52% of the respondents had tested for HIV, 24% of the respondents did not think they were at risk of HIV infection, 11% of the respondents did not know where to get an HIV test, 8% of the respondents did not know what procedures are involved in an HIV test, and 4% of respondents did not know what an HIV test was.
LAU Pit-mo, Supervisor of TWGHs PRIDE Line, suggested to raise the awareness of LGBTQ+ for help-seeking as well as their ability to identify violence through public education. Meanwhile, he also recommended to increase the provision of training for multi-disciplinary professionals on LGBTQ+ releted topics, such as LGBTQ+ culture, impacts of violence and intervention strategies; with an aim to enhance practitioners’ sensitivity and capability in assisting those LGBTQ+ under the threat of domestic violence and intimate partner violence. In addition, it is also suggested that we have to increase the provision of spaces and venues that are friendly to LGBTQ+. Besides, it was recommended that service providers should organise various educational programmes to raise awareness of sexual health among LGBTQ+ and promote the accessibility and transparency of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases testing.
Since its establishment in 1870, TWGHs has been all along upholding its mission “To heal the sick and to relieve the distressed; to care for the elderly and to rehabilitate the disabled; to promote education and to nurture the youngsters; and to raise the infant and to guide the youth.” Nowadays, TWGHs is the largest charitable organisation with the longest history in Hong Kong. For more than one and a half centuries, TWGHs has persistently pioneered and marked significant milestones in medical and health, education, community, preservation of historical and cultural heritage, and traditional services to fulfill the needs of the society and to provide the public with high quality services at low rates or for free. Today, TWGHs operates 363 services units, including 5 hospitals and 37 Chinese and Western medicine services units, 60 education services units, 232 community services units that cover elderly, youth and family, rehabilitation, social enterprises and social innovation services, 2 records and heritage service units, namely, Tung Wah Museum and TWGHs Maisy Ho Archives and Relics Centre that aim to protect and preserve local traditional culture and history, as well as 24 traditional service units, offering funeral and burial services, temple and ritualistic services, 2 transitional housing projects and Geospatial Lab.
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|Photo 2: Dr. HUANG Yu-te,was reporting the evaluation of TWGHs PRIDE Line hotline service.|