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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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.

Chloe So

Chloe is a business student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). As HKUST is known for its stress and tension, she soon realises the importance of youth mental health support. Utilising her ability to comprehend bilingually in both Chinese and English, she hopes to contribute to the youth community through joining Coolminds Youth Operations Committee.

Grace Lee

Grace has completed her Occupational Therapy degree at Brunel University London. Having personal encounters with mental health issues, she is enthusiastic about raising mental health awareness in Hong Kong. Grace has been taught to approach clients using a humanistic and holistic approach during her university studies, therefore she believes that the community is disabling the person with mental health problems instead of the illness itself. Grace hopes to make a positive influence by sharing her recovery story, with the aim of removing the stigma attached to mental illness and supporting people with mental health issues in Hong Kong.

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.

Janice To

Janice is a first-year biomedicine student at the University of Melbourne. Growing up in Hong Kong where she was immersed in such a stressful learning environment made her realise that mental health is more important than people think. She became more aware of the public and perceived stigmatisation of mental illness when a few of her friends were faced with the issue. She joined the Coolminds Youth Operations Committee to help reduce the stigma on mental health and raise awareness on personal wellbeing. 

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.

Karina Chan

Karina is a first year psychology student. She is passionate about raising awareness for mental health and recognises the importance for young people to be more aware and look after themselves better.  Apart from psychology, she also loves reading and languages, therefore she would like to utilise her skills of Chinese and English to inform more people on the importance of mental health and to access resources that helps them. She is honoured to be part of Youth Operations Committee and is looking forward to working with everyone!

Kylie Yeung

Kylie is a Year 12 student at Brighton College. Growing up in a city with a stressful learning environment and having supported friends struggling with mental health issues, Kylie realises the dire need for more mental health support and a supportive community which encourages youth to reach out for help. Moreover, her interest in mental health advocacy has increased throughout. As a member of the Youth Operations Committee, she hopes to shed light onto the importance of mental health and hopefully reduce stigma towards mental illnesses in the society.

Lesley Yuen

Lesley has recently graduated from Lancaster University with a psychology degree in 2021 and has always been passionate about mental health and therapies. With a psychology background, Lesley understands mental well-being on a deeper level and believes that mental health struggles are not a sign of personal weaknesses or failures as society perceived. Therefore, she aspires to normalise mental health struggles or mental illnesses in society through creating media content for Coolminds and other social media platforms. As Lesley also has an interest in dancing, she hopes to further develop in the field of expressive art therapy.

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.