Butterfly Program

This is not a story about one child. It is a story about 42 disadvantaged children whose lives have been changed by Variety – the Children’s Charity Hong Kong.

As a new tent with limited resources, we decided to focus our initial efforts on the Variety Butterfly Program, which provides early assessment and interim treatment of financially disadvantaged children and adolescents from financially disadvantaged families who do not have the means to seek medical or psychiatric services outside the public health system. To date, the Program has covered 42 children, including eight who received accelerated admission into a Government treatment program – and one whose suicide is believed to have been avoided by Variety’s intervention.

Children suspected to suffer from mental health problems currently have to wait more than a year for clinical assessment in the Government’s public clinics in Hong Kong. If they are diagnosed with autism, attention deficit disorder or other mental health conditions, they have to wait for another 14-15 months on average for treatment at Hong Kong’s public clinics, and in many cases the waiting time for public psychiatric outpatient services can be as long as three years. Those years can be critical, and treatment often comes too late.

Variety HK has recruited a network of psychiatrists to provide early assessment and treatment to children and adolescents who are awaiting admission for public outpatient treatment services. We also work with other charities to provide counseling and coping skills for families and carers.

The program is currently funded through promotions by Café Deco Group, a leading restaurant group in Hong Kong. We are looking for additional sources of funding.

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