Youth Operations Committee

The Youth Operations Committee (“YOC”) is a team of committed high school and university students aged 14-24 based in Hong Kong who work closely with Coolminds staff on a regular basis to perform hands-on tasks to keep this project running – including social media management, blog/ content development, translation, and graphic design.

Scroll down to read the biographies of our YOC members, and to get to know them better!

If you would like to be involved and see yourself enjoying being part of youth mental health advocacy efforts, head over to our “Get Involved” page or leave us a message at hello@coolmindshk.com! Please note that the YOC requires a minimum commitment of 3 months of volunteering, and youth will need to have contributed to Coolminds for at least 2 months prior to joining.

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Alanna Sethi

Having supported friends struggling with different mental health disorders, Alanna is extremely passionate about mental health awareness, education and increasing accessibility for everyone in receiving mental health support. For this reason, she recently founded Helping Our Planet Earth (HOPE), where she has launched multiple educational and supportive initiatives as a mental health ambassador. At Coolminds, she aims to  connect with more young people to provide further guidance in her written blogs, whilst sharing her own experiences and knowledge of mental health and psychology.

Charlie Wong

Charlie completed her Neuroscience degree at the University of Birmingham in 2020 and has developed a broad interest in Psychology, ranging from clinical, social and neuroscientific. Having studied in the UK for more than 8 years, she realised the big difference in how people in the UK and Hong Kong see mental health, where Hong Kong teenagers are less likely to open up their thoughts or feelings due to various cultural or social reasons. After being part of the summer internship in Mind HK, she would like to continue to contribute to reducing the stigma on mental health in Hong Kong as a committee in the YOC. In the future, she hopes to pursue careers in clinical psychology.

Hosanna Lai

Hosanna is a Grade 11 student at International Christian School. Having experienced and dealt with mental health issues, Hosanna recognizes the importance of raising mental health awareness. As media and society often portray mental health through a negative light, she is passionate in reducing the stigmas attached to people’s mental wellbeing through the opportunities that she is given. She has been volunteering at CoolMinds HK as a social media content creator since 2020, where she creates posts that touch bases on different topics. She is honored to serve alongside YOC and is looking forward to seeing what the team has to bring to the community.

Jamie Lai

Jamie is a law student from University of Cambridge. As an active volunteer in various fields, she is passionate about dedicating her time and skills to the mental health sector, and hopes to bring changes to the community. Growing up in Hong Kong, she experienced how the social environment discourages or hinders youths from actively speaking up about their struggles and seeking help. Through joining Coolminds, she wishes to build a more open and welcoming culture through destigmatizing mental health care, clearing misconceptions, and raising awareness on personal wellbeing. In her free time, Jamie enjoys video games, hiking, and cats.

Jill Chan

Jill is a year 1 student at the University of Hong Kong. She is planning to major in Psychology due to her great interest in understanding the reasons for people to have different emotions and mental illnesses. As a student, Jill has seen a lot of her peers suffering from mental health problems due to academic stress and interpersonal relationships. Through joining Youth Operations Committee, Jill hopes to promote mental health awareness and destigmatize mental health, especially among teenagers. She is excited to continue working with like-minded young people after her internship at MindHK.

Melody Lai

Hello, I am Melody and I am currently studying at the University of Hong Kong. I enjoy drawing as it has a calming effect. Using art as a medium, I hope to help raise mental health awareness in youth and to spread happiness to others!

Natasha Banga

I am a penultimate undergraduate student at HKU pursuing a degree in psychology, cognitive science and criminology. I hold both a personal and academic interest in clinical psychology and mental health. I am especially passionate about mental health awareness amongst youth as well as early intervention in maladaptive behaviours and psychological challenges. Moreover, I aim to make mental healthcare accessible to those most vulnerable such as refugees and forced migrants through my academic and social service journey. I believe it’s important to recognise the vast intersectionality and cultural factors that contribute to diverse psychological issues and related societal stigmas across the globe. Additionally, I am an advocate for approaching mental health with a holistic approach, one which incorporates mindfulness and daily wellness. Apart from my industry experiences as a counselling and research psychology intern, I have previously served as a researcher and columnist at the HKU Social Service Fund on a mental health programme for refugee women and children and spearheaded the media strategist team at Girl Up HKU, in affiliation with the United Nations. Being a volunteer, columnist and Youth Operations Officer at Coolminds have enabled me to enhance my contributions and collaborate with like-minded youth to combat mental health stigma and make mental health care more attainable.

Sally Ng

Sally is a Form 5 student at St. Paul’s Convent School. She is passionate about advocating for the destigmatisation of mental health and encouraging discussions surrounding emotional well-being in different settings, particularly in the school environment. She enjoys volunteering and through joining Coolminds, she’s thrilled to meet like-minded individuals in contributing for the same cause.

Vedika Sekhri

Vedika is currently a student at South Island School, graduating in the class of 2023. In her spare time she enjoys playing tennis, reading, watching Netflix, and spending time with her family and friends. She is excited to join the Youth Operations Committee because she has a keen interest in promoting mental health, especially among young people, and feels that it is an important issue that requires awareness. She hopes that through her work as a committee member, she will be able to contribute to the conversation around mental health and help children and teens improve their wellbeing.