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 Secret Chat 
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 "Secret Chat" is a co-creation project which aims to develop a youth-friendly online chat counseling service to provide psychosocial support for HKDSE students with mental health needs. It involves learning about users' experiences and needs, co-creating service protocol and tools with professionals and young people, and enhancing practitioners' competence in online chat counseling. The longer-term goal is to make online chat counseling more accessible and youth friendly. 

The Hong Kong Youth Epidemiological Study of Mental Health conducted by the University of Hong Kong found that nearly 17% of young people aged 15-24 have a probable psychiatric disorder, yet their use of psychiatric or psychological service is critically low likely due to stigma and long wait times of mainstream services. 

Online chat counseling has been widely adopted globally by youth mental health services as it is effective in enabling communication and relationship building while maintaining accessibility, anonymity and user control during the counselling process. However, concerns over confidentiality, privacy and data security, miscommunication, crises handling and boundary issues, etc. have hindered local development of such services. "Secret Chat" aims to gather youth, practitioners and relevant professionals to find solutions collaboratively and co-create a youth-friendly online chat counselling service for HKDSE students in need. Training and supervision will also be provided to build practitioners’ capacity. 


 For HKDSE students 

  • Survey and focus groups to understand their needs and preferences on mental health support 

  • Online chat counselling service 


For youth practitioners 

  • Ideation workshop to generate solutions to meet HKDSE students’ mental health needs 

  • Co-creation workshop to develop guidance and protocol for online chat counselling 

  • Training and supervised practicum on online chat counselling 


For NGOs/the community 

  • Online resource library including guidance, protocol and digital resources for online chat counselling 

  • Sharing of project learnings 

Target Audience

  •  HKDSE students 

  • Youth practitioners 

Scope of Services

  • All districts, Hong Kong 

  • April 2023 to Sep 2025 


  • Phone: 

  • Email: 

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