Well-being in Hong Kong aims to provide a space for learning and thinking about ways that we can nurture healthier, happier communities.
While there is no fixed definition for well-being, the general consensus is that it is more than just the absence of illness and negative emotions, but is the presence of positive emotions, a sense of fulfilment and the capacity for functioning well. Well-being has been described by modern psychologists as a “dynamic concept that includes subjective, social, and psychological dimensions.”
Accounts of well-being date back thousands of years, both in the East from the likes of the Buddha and Confucius, and also in the Western traditions of Aristotle and Ancient Greece. Today, researchers around the world are working to extend these concepts and establish standards that can interpret and facilitate personal and societal wellbeing. Far from being merely academic or psychological, current approaches to well-being encompass concern for relationships, economics, education, health, welfare, and, of course, politics.
Well-being has increasingly been a subject of discussion in political and economic circles, with the World Health Organisation suggesting that collective well-being ought to be used as an indicator for social and national progress. In 2013, the UN introduced the first International Day of Happiness to recognise international efforts to govern in a way that supports healthier, happier citizens.
About this website
This website has been launched by the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention (CSRP) at Hong Kong University, with the aim of drawing attention to relevant academic literature on wellbeing in Hong Kong and internationally, and encouraging debate and discussion about how best the conditions for wellbeing can be realised.
In addition to being a hub for general information about well-being, a key aim is to encourage knowledge exchange between academics, policymakers, interested parties and members of the wider public through guest articles and commentary.
Those wanting to learn more about ways of promoting well-being in their own lives and the lives of those around them can visit our Ways to Wellbeing section, or contribute to the Journey of Mind. If policy and advocacy is more of interest, professional research and opinion can be found in the Articles section.
The Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, based at the University of Hong Kong, is one of Asia’s leading suicide research centres. The Centre produces research and guidance involving social determinants of well-being, including poverty, education and population issues, in addition to other areas of mental health and suicide prevention.