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Introduction to self-guided online psychological intervention

The stepped-care model of mental health support

10 Mar 2023 3 min read
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Ruby Liu MY

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mental health 101

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One-stop online mental health self-help platform.

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  • There is a shortage of mental health professionals in Hong Kong
  • A stepped-care model provides evidence-based early interventions for people with emotional distress  
  • Different intensity of psychological interventions (low to high) is delivered to users of different needs
  • Online psychological intervention is flexible, autonomous, effective and affordable 

Mental health is a fundamental right that should be accessible to all. Whether you are experiencing distress or not, Jockey Club Tour Heart+ provides a range of tools and exercises for you to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. We adopted the stepped-care model by first evaluating the level of your emotional distress, then providing content of intensity tailored to your specific needs.

You may ask:

  • What is a stepped-care model? What does it mean by different intensity and self-help psychological intervention?
  • Is online psychological intervention effective? Is it comparable to in-person therapy?
  • How does JCTH+ help to relieve emotional distress or maintain users’ daily mental health through online and in-person services?

In this article, we take you through an in-depth introduction of the platform, answering the above questions one by one.

Jockey Club Tour Heart+ online stepped-care model

The queue for local public psychiatric services is long, while private psychiatrists or clinical psychologists are unaffordable for many; local mental health services are bottlenecked and require more diversified solutions.

JCTH+ believes that by integrating psychology and technology into a flexible and convenient mental health support platform, it can contribute to the long-term development of mental health services in Hong Kong.

Overview of local mental health services:


It is our understanding that emotions ebb and flow, come and go - which can be ever-changing. Therefore, we adopted the "stepped-care model" advocated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK - we regularly track the mental health status of our members and automatically adjust the courses based on their mental health status changes.

As life is characterized by its ups and downs, the intensity of psychotherapy may vary in a stepped-care fashion, moving up or down the ladder based on the individual's unique needs and circumstances.

You can register for free as a member and complete an online mental health assessment (MHA). Our MHA is a brief self-reported questionnaire assessing and dividing the level of depression and anxiety one is currently experiencing into:

  • No significant symptoms
  • Mild to moderate
  • Severe

Based on the results, we will recommend courses and tools of suitable intensity, including evidence-based psychotherapy courses such as Mindfulness-Based Training and Cognitive Behavioral Training. The courses and content are developed by our professional team led by clinical psychologists.

Besides the courses which offer a comprehensive understanding of psychological theories and practical techniques to help users regulate their emotions effectively, our HeartGuides will also support users experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety by providing personalized support, closely monitoring your progress and addressing any queries or concerns you may have.

  • If you are currently in a stable emotional state and experiencing no significant symptoms, we offer a range of options for you to continue nurturing your mental health and exploring personal growth. These options include interacting with our chatbot, reading in-depth articles on psychology, and attending webinars to accumulate knowledge and develop resilience. We offer a reminder function that prompts you to engage in self-care activities throughout the day. These may include reminders to drink water, take a few minutes to stretch, or be mindful of three beautiful things daily. By integrating these self-care practices into your daily routine, you can easily prioritize your mental well-being.
  • If you are experiencing mild to moderate emotional distress, you can take our psychotherapy courses, including mindfulness-based training, and cognitive-behavioral training for rumination, as well as TourHeart enrichment workshops and mindfulness group practices.
  • If you are experiencing severe emotional distress, you can take our psychotherapy courses, including mindfulness-based training, transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral training, as well as group cognitive behavioral and mindfulness therapy.

Beyond providing relief for emotional distress, our platform strives to promote the importance of daily mental health habits. Incorporating practices such as running, gym workouts and yoga into one's routine can foster healthy habits and contribute to a greater sense of physical well-being. This parallels the concept of mental health, where consistent practice is required.

We believe in providing a caring and inclusive platform for all members, where you can access a range of mental health resources that cater to your needs. Our features include: 

  • Webinars - featuring insights from clinical psychologists, scholars, and experienced practitioners across diverse fields. 
  • Bilingual chatbots - providing a conversational space to explore life challenges and promote personal growth.
  • In-depth articles - offering a comprehensive understanding of various psychological concepts and topics to deepen one's knowledge and enhance well-being.
  • Online forum "Somewhere to share" - a safe and welcoming space to share feelings, connect with others, and receive support from a community that understands.
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What is low/ high Intensity psychological intervention?

The stepped-care model consists of different intensity of psychological interventions for users with different needs:

  • Low-intensity psychological interventions are designed for people with mild to moderate symptoms of depression or anxiety. It is self-guided, with coaching provided by our HeartGuide*. It offers resources on emotional health and early interventions for individuals experiencing initial signs of emotional distress, such as stress reactions or low mood, to help them manage their emotions effectively during the early stages.
  • Traditional high-intensity psychological interventions are conducted by clinical psychologists or trained professionals. It is primarily delivered to people with severe emotional distress, such as our in-person group therapy.

*Our low-intensity psychological intervention is guided by HeartGuides, who are professionally trained and supervised by clinical psychologists. In the event that you encounter questions during the course, HeartGuides are equipped to provide guidance and closely follow up with you.

We shall journey together, forging our mental muscles, nurturing resilience, and cultivating habits of self-care. In this shared pursuit, we shall empower our souls.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Mental health 101
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Ruby Liu MY

Well-being Promotion Officer of Jockey Club TourHeart+ Project

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