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https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-launches-the-jockey-club-sleep-well-project
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-launches-the-jockey-club-sleep-well-project
CUHK launches the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project –  Hong Kong’s first large-scale community outreach programme to promote sleep health, using cognitive behavioural therapy to treat insomnia

CUHK launches the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project – Hong Kong’s first large-scale community outreach programme to promote sleep health, using cognitive behavioural therapy to treat insomnia

Sleep is an essential component of a healthy life. However, insomnia is very common, with about 30% of adults in Hong Kong suffering from it. The Department of Psychiatry at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine), along with five local non-governmental organisations, have launched the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project (the Project). It is funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and is the first large-scale community outreach programme of its kind in Hong Kong. The Project aims to enhance public awareness of sleep health and to provide those in need with suitable interventions, including cognitive behavioural therapy, the first line treatment for chronic insomnia in adults. The World Sleep Society marked this year’s World Sleep Day on 15 March with the theme “Sleep Equity for Global Health”. In support of World Sleep Day, CU Medicine hosted the launch ceremony of the Project today.

 

Personalised coaching of healthy sleep: empowering individuals through a stepped care model of insomnia

 

The Project promotes sleep health through a range of activities and provides those in need with appropriate interventions. It features a stepped care model which provides different levels of sleep intervention according to participants’ needs. Participants first assess their sleep and mental health through its online platform or mobile app and start with self-help or guided online courses. This is followed by a dedicated sleep coach for personalised support, in a stepped care manner, including cognitive behavioural therapy which aims to regulate patients’ poor sleep habits and address their irrational thoughts about sleep. Additionally, objective sleep assessment with polysomnography will be provided to those found to be at risk of other, comorbid sleep problems. The Project was soft-launched in October 2023, and has gradually expanded its reach to 18 districts. It targets citizens aged 18 to 70, aiming to provide personalised support to 10,000 individuals in around 3.5 years.

 

Dr Rachel Chan and Prof Wing Yun Kwok

Professor Wing Yun-kwok, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Psychiatry and Chairman; and Dr Rachel Chan, Assistant Professor, from the Department of Psychiatry at CU Medicine, state that the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project features a stepped care model which provides different levels of sleep intervention according to participants’ needs through digital platform or one-to-one sleep coaching.

Professor Philip Chiu Wai-yan, Dean of CU Medicine, remarked at the launch ceremony of the Project, “Studies show that many people in Hong Kong experience insomnia, but the awareness of sleep health among the public is not sufficient. Therefore, I am deeply grateful for the generous donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the support from our collaborators, which allows us to promote sleep health through the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project. The medical and research teams at CU Medicine will use their expertise, along with diverse online and offline support, and community engagement facilitated by partner organisations, to enhance insomnia support services. Our aim is to help citizens get quality sleep, making incremental changes for individuals, families and communities.”

 

Dr Libby Lee, Under Secretary for Health, said at the ceremony, “The Government places great importance on promoting public mental health. The Advisory Committee on Mental Health has conducted three citywide surveys to study the mental health situation among local residents. They revealed that 10% of the children and teenagers aged 6 to 17 interviewed had encountered sleep disorders. This finding and another in the survey concerning youngsters aged 15 to 24 both showed that sleep disorders and poor sleep quality are risk factors for mental health problems. Meanwhile, a survey targeting elderly people also found that sleep quality affects their cognitive function and mental health. I am delighted to see that the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project is community-based, reminding the public of the importance of sleep health for overall mental well-being. I look forward to seeing the Project progress successfully, ensuring that individuals affected by insomnia or potential sleep problems can enjoy quality sleep every night.”

 

Prof Philip Chiu

Professor Philip Chiu, Dean of CU Medicine, remarks that the medical and research teams at CU Medicine will use their expertise, along with diverse online and offline support, and community engagement facilitated by partner organisations, to enhance insomnia support services through the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project.

Dr Libby Lee

Dr Libby Lee, Under Secretary for Health, says that she looks forward to seeing the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project progress successfully, ensuring that individuals affected by insomnia or potential sleep problems can enjoy quality sleep every night.

Dr Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health, stated, “In addition to addressing citizens’ mental health needs through clinical treatments, it is crucial to provide accurate mental health information to the public through community activities and online platforms. The Jockey Club Sleep Well Project serves as an excellent example by promoting healthy sleep culture and utilising cognitive-behavioural intervention to identify and address the underlying causes or behaviours contributing to insomnia in each case. By intervening in individuals’ sleep health, the Project helps to break the insomnia cycle, significantly contributing to the overall improvement of mental health in society.

 

Ms Imelda Chan, Head of Charities (Healthy Community) at The Hong Kong Jockey Club, said, “Mental health has always been a key focus of the Club’s Charities Trust. In particular, we have been supporting universities and non-governmental organisations to enhance their mental health services through innovative, evidence-based approaches. The Club has recently approved HK$790 million to support eight initiatives to address the mental health needs of younger and older people through early intervention and prevention. As insomnia is a common problem among adults in Hong Kong, and good sleep can effectively improve mental health, the Club has approved HK$86 million to support CUHK and five project collaborators to launch the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project. We hope this will help people improve both their sleep quality and their mental health.”

 

 

Dr Lam Ching Choi

Dr Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Mental Health, states that by intervening in individuals’ sleep health, the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project helps to break the insomnia cycle, significantly contributing to the overall improvement of mental health in society.

Ms Imelda Chan

Ms Imelda Chan, Head of Charities (Healthy Community) at The Hong Kong Jockey Club, says that insomnia is a common problem among adults in Hong Kong, and good sleep can effectively improve mental health. The Hong Kong Jockey Club has approved HK$86 million to support CUHK and five project collaborators to launch the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project, which aims to help people improve both their sleep quality and their mental health.

Promoting healthy sleep and providing evidence-based support

 

Professor Wing Yun-kwok, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Psychiatry and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at CU Medicine, Project Director of the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project, added, “Over 5,500 individuals have registered so far, with approximately 40% reporting moderate to severe insomnia. Sleep coaches are providing personalised services to participants in need. CU Medicine’s Psychiatry team will further scientifically validate the efficacy of this stepped care model in managing insomnia. Our long-term goal is to apply it more broadly in clinical settings, facilitating the promotion of healthy sleep in the amelioration and prevention of other health problems.”

 

Collaborators in the Project, including the Christian Family Service Centre, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Limited, The Mental Health Association of Hong Kong, St. James’ Settlement and United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service, also host lectures, workshops and other activities across Hong Kong to promote sleep health within the community. For details, please visit the Project’s website https://jcsleepwell.cuhk.edu.hk/.

 

Painting presentation

At the ceremony, Professor Philip Chiu presented a painting he created to Professor Wing Yun-kwok and his team. The painting depicts a tree full of fruits, symbolising the Jockey Club Sleep Well Project can assist many citizens in need..

Group photo

Guests at the ceremony take a group photo.

 

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