Establishing community mental health facilities: a comparative review of Hong Kong and international jurisdictions

Xiaoting Ou, Vincent W. P. Lee, Daniel W. L. Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The establishment of mental health facilities in the community has been hindered by opposition from local residents in Hong Kong. Through a comparative review, this study aimed to compare the issues related to the process of establishment of community-based mental health facilities between Hong Kong and selected overseas countries and regions. It will better inform the strategies and best practices that can be adopted for the establishment of mental health facilities in Hong Kong.

Methods: Three electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, and PsycINFO) were used to examine literature on nine jurisdictions in Asia and western societies from 2005 to 2019. In addition, we conducted a number of in-depth interviews with overseas experts to gain in-depth insights and clarify information that was unavailable or unclear. A total of 19,248 articles were identified through the initial search. 71 of them met the inclusion criteria. In addition, 20 articles about the establishment of other types of community facilities or sensitive facilities were identified from supplementary sources.

Results: Most Western countries and Singapore have adopted regulations or laws to reduce public discrimination against particular groups, giving them corresponding human rights and legislating to demarcate the use of land in the community. Regions close to Hong Kong emphasize communication with community leaders to obtain support for sensitive services or facilities.

Conclusions: Hong Kong may consider strengthening the land zoning ordinance in relation to community sensitive facilities, as well as increasing communication with the community and considering the possibility of locating facilities in government buildings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health Policy

User-Defined Keywords

  • Community opposition
  • Discrimination
  • Mental illness
  • Stigma


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