There’s a seed living in the heart of a jungle. When the seed meets water, sunshine, air and it grows into a tree;
I often say that my own experience with mental health is that seed. When I see the darkness in other people’s heart, it echoes and turns into tears of water, the warmth I feel from people through my darkest time turns into sunshine, and the support that I get from people turns into air.
So just like that, the seed sprouted. I named it CandleX. It’s always the tree symbolizes my deepest “Care for the Mind”.
Founder of CandleX
CandleX was born on April 1st 2015 in Beijing. The organization was initiated by Xiaojie Qin who has been working with International Non-Profit Organizations in China since 2008, and has a strong personal concern and care for the our social mental wellbeing.
VISION A world where all those affected by mental health conditions are acknowledged, accepted, and supported.
To provide English speaking people in Beijing with affordable, accessible, and quality mental health Support.
to reduce social stigma, increase public knowledge, and provide psychosocial support for people experiencing depression, mania and severe anxiety.
WHO DO WE HELP? (TARGET GROUP)
CandleX offers mental health support, in English, to teenagers and adults living in Beijing. Expats and Chinese nationals are all eligible to receive this support.
As an English speaking Chinese national, with personal and professional relationships in the expat community and substantial international travel, Xiaojie found it difficult to identify with the Chinese mental health services available. She was searching for mental health support that utilized a more western cultural approach. This search did not yield any positive results and she concluded that the English-speaking community in Beijing lacked both social and clinical support. This realisation inspired her to fill the gap, and she soon after founded CandleX, with the aim of providing mental health support in English.
The cost of mental health care provided by international private hospitals is prohibitive. Many foreigners living in Beijing are not able to afford access to these resources. There it little to no support available to those not earning the highest of expat salaries.Life abroad is stressful. Stressors include adjusting to a new culture, leaving the familiar, encountering different ways of thinking and different cultural norms. Chinese mental health care is available, but language and cultural barriers make both access and efficacy challenging. In addition to the expats residing in Beijing, there are Chinese nationals that feel that the Chinese care on offer is too culturally defined to benefit them. CandleX offers affordable, accesible and quality social support in English.
WHAT ABOUT CHINESE? (CHINESE MENTAL HEALTH CARE)
Those seeking care in Chinese are able to access it from a variety of sources. Hospitals, private counseling centers, university affiliated counseling centers, online counseling platforms and telephone helplines all offer support. There are over a dozen organizations operating in Chinese, in Beijing alone, where people can receive mental health care.
HOW MANY NEED HELP? (ENGLISH MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES)
One in four people experience some form of mental health issue(1). Beijing is home to an estimated 107.000 foreigners(2). It is evident from these numbers that many foreigners living in Beijing would benefit from accessible mental health care and support.
CandleX aims to provide this support to those who need it so that everybody has access to mental health care regardless of their language, culture, and financial situation.
Our core values guide our actions and are the foundation for engagements between ourselves, the community, and our partners.
Passion: passion is our engine and drives us forward in everything we do.
Consistency: even in small numbers, when there is consistency over time, change can happen (3).
Balance: we seek and practice to balance all elements of life.
Connection: we connect with different partners to create a healthy environment.
Empowerment: we create an environment that allows our community members to empower themselves to lead.
Diversity: we welcome people from all backgrounds, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or age.
Integrity: we act with honesty and honor without compromising the truth.
INTERVENTION MODEL (4)
CandleX’s intervention model is built in line with the international mental health interventional model, positioning ourselves at the bottom two layers serving the largest scale of the general population: universal prevention interventions, and selective preventative interventions.
1) Mental Health Support Group
English speaking peer support group. This is for people affected by depression, bi-polar disorders, anxiety, and those who are going through difficult situations in life.
2) Community Events
Presentations, speeches, movie screenings and workshops on emotional well-being, depression and bi-polar disorders are held in high schools, local community groups, embassies, government agencies and companies. These all aim to educate and empower.
3) MoodLaB | Bipolar Disorder Awareness Campaign
This is an art project, started in 2016, that seeks to educate and destigmatize bipolar disorder.
4) Online Education
Our media productions including videos, documentaries, educational articles, and a column where community members are invited to share their own personal stories about mental health.
5) Mental Health for Teens
By providing workshops and talks in schools and with educational agencies, we address specific emotional needs of teenagers and build their resilience against mental health issues.
1 - World Health Organization - http://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/
2 - http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2015/01/08/nali-lai-de-overview-expats-china.html
3 - Serge Muscovici
4 - http://www.who.int/mental_health/emergencies/what_humanitarian_health_actors_should_know.pdf