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From zero to 2.0 - The birth and development of TourHeart+

Mak's thoughts and talk

28 Jul 2022 2 min read
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Professor Winnie Mak

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Mak's thoughts and talk

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One-stop online mental health self-help platform.

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Welcome to the Jockey Club TourHeart+ online platform. Our team is happy to be of service to you.

Time flies. The past 4 years have been incredible since we first embarked on this platform creation to facilitate users’ tour into their hearts. Recalling the inception of our project in 2017, we went through series of trial-and-error and eventually launched the initial TourHeart online platform and app. Last year, in face of the changing technology and needs of the work force, we launched Phase 2, TourHeart+. To optimize users’ experience, we overhauled the entire platform in and out with improved functionality, smoother user experience, and enhanced personalization while maintaining our effectiveness. We redesigned the interface of the platform with interactive user experience testing, introduced new features that suit our targets’ needs and preferences, and revamped the content to make them more user-friendly and interactive. All these efforts were paid in the hopes of improving our members’ experience as they learn to develop self-care and making them feel supported and understood in the process.

All these are impossible without the dedication and collective efforts of my amazing team, each of which has opened their own hearts to listen to users, work seamlessly, and develop a platform that we are unique in Hong Kong. I am forever grateful to each of my teammates, who work passionately and meticulously towards achieving a shared vision of mental well-being for all.

TourHeart+ focuses on workplace mental health because working adults spend large amount of time at work yet comparatively speaking, their mental well-being is usually sidelined. Moreover, working adults face many challenges beyond the workplace and career development, including family issues, interpersonal relationships, physical health, values and life purpose, all of which are interconnected and can impact not only working adults’ well-being, but also well-being of everyone around them (e.g., family, loved ones, friends, colleagues).

As such, TourHeart+ addresses not only depressive and anxiety symptoms that are very commonly experienced in the workforce, it also covers a range of psychosocial topics that users can explore and reminds users to stay mindful towards their inner needs in order to make wise decisions for themselves, in relation to others and create rippling effects for greater good.

To actualize this vision, we cannot solely rely on working adults to enhance their resilience while neglecting the deep-rooted structural factors such as work culture and corporate governance. In fact, many members shared that some self-care tips might not be realistic in the current work culture. We often hear suggestions on work-life balance. But when an employee is working over 10 hours a day under harsh and unreasonable working conditions, their psychological needs and well-being are often put to the back burner.

Commitment from corporations is crucial in promoting workplace mental health. Management must take the initiatives to drive the change and promote the shared value of maximizing both employees’ and corporate growth as well as contributory to the social good .

To be honest, I am still learning to motivate and guide a team, thus I am in no position to preach management skills. Yet, I am open to discussing openly how to create a work culture that facilitates staff well-being, embraces diversity, and encourages management to actively practice humanistic leadership. I will regularly share relevant research and experience here and hope that TourHeart+ can gather like-minded folks who are keen to promote workplace mental health. Together, we can do more.

That’s it for now.

Wish you well-being, peace, and clarity.

Mak's thoughts and talk
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Professor Winnie Mak

Principal investigator of Jockey Club TourHeart+ Project, Professor at the Department of Psychology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the co-founder of StoryTaler. For the past 20 years, she focuses her research in stigma, social diversity, mental health promotion, and personal recovery.

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