A Message from our Co-sponsor: Hong Fook Mental Health Association: A pioneer in advocating for mental health care for the underserved

by | March 15, 2013 | March 2013, Newsletter

Canada’s visible-minority population has grown rapidly over the past three decades and growth continues. Culturally and linguistically appropriate services are greatly needed to respond to the increasing demands of this growing population. Hong Fook Mental Health Association was established in 1982 for the purpose of improving mental health services to those immigrants who face insurmountable cultural and linguistic barriers in accessing mental health services. Our vision is a multicultural community that understands mental health and accepts mental illness.

With limited resources, Hong Fook has been focusing on the Cambodian, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese communities. Its activities include advocacy, public education, promotion of mental health, consultation liaison, case management, counseling, supportive housing, family support, and consumer self help programs. Hong Fook seeks to work collaboratively with other community agencies to maximize the resources that are available to its clients, and it is open and responsive to community needs. Services are delivered at three separate sites and provided in collaboration with a plethora of community organizations, agencies and practitioners.

Hong Fook Mental Health Association works with Asian communities to keep people mentally healthy and manage mental illness from recovery to wellness, through promotion and prevention, treatment, capacity building and advocacy.

The foundation of our service framework is “Holistic Health”, which covers the whole person. It addresses not only the body, mind, and spirit of a person, but also the many socio-economic, cultural, political and other environmental factors that impact on health. Our Continuum of Services focuses on promoting wellness and mental health recovery with the following values: equity, diversity, cultural competence, empowerment, capacity building, community participation*, self help, and mutual support.

Our service commitment principles are responsiveness, accessibility, accountability, collaboration, integration, and innovation.

We recognize that individuals and communities are unique. We respect diversity and critically reflect on our own biases and assumptions in our service approach. We understand that health is not just an individual matter, but equity in different aspects must be addressed. Equity in terms of access to resources, services, and opportunities, such as access to employment and education, play a crucial role in impacting on our health. We look at cultural competence beyond addressing language at the service provision level. We believe that diversity and equity in different aspects have to be recognized and addressed at the organizational and system levels.

David Truong, Hong Fook client from 2011 promotional video

David Truong, Hong Fook client
from 2011 promotional video


  • Preferred languages of clients are: Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, English, and Khmer.
  • The most prevalent primary diagnoses among case management clients were mood disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders and anxiety disorders.


  • 1,350 unique clients made 3,493 visits for intake and consultation
  • 496 clients received 13,564 contacts/visits
  • There were 4,260 visits/contacts to 91 individuals for supportive housing with case management. This included 3 groups that had 46 sessions.

    From 2004 promotional video

    From 2004 promotional video

  • The Asian Clinic saw 318 new patients and had 3,050 visits.
  • The Family Initiative had 131 clients who had 727 visits.
  • In the self-help program there were 10,235 contacts with 310 people, including 669 sessions for 18 groups. Fifty-five individuals participated in supportive employment.
  • 1034 individuals had 13,799 visits for prevention and promotion. This included 26 groups and 167 workshops, and 556 group sessions.
  • The Journey to Mental health Training program served 464 individuals through 846 visits and 15 groups that provided 28 sessions.
Hong Fook founding members and staff, 1994

Hong Fook founding members and staff, 1994


  • A series of TV and radio talk shows through the ethnic media and client recovery stories on DVD
  • One day biennial conference on diversity and equity in mental health and addictions, in partnership with other community organizations and agencies
  • Mental health promotion training programs for community service and settlement workers across Ontario. Since its inception in 2008, this program has hosted 33 two-day training series, and 905 front line workers from more than 280 agencies have been served.


  • For the fiscal year ended March 31,2012, Hong Fook had total revenues of $4,274,388 and total expenditures of $4,224,267. Over the past three decades Hong Fook has grown from a lofty idea to an organization that provides multiple services to many clients in several ethnic groups.

Our funding has grown from less than $10,000 in the first year to more than $4 million in 2011 and our clientele has grown from a dozen individuals to 16,000 a year.

For more information on Hong Fook Mental Health Association, visit: www.hongfook.ca


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