Donation Appeal

Erica's 30th Birthday Mental Health Fundraiser

  • Hong Kong
Raised So Far HKD 62,827
209% Complete
Target : HKD 30,000

About Appeal

Join Erica's Virtual Mental Health Birthday Bash on Wednesday, 23 December 9am HKT!

Hi friends and fam!

This month I am turning the big 3-0. If you know me, you know how much I love celebrating my birthday. It’s always been the one time of year I could smush together my friends from all corners of my life in a room full of love and gratitude.

This year I want to use my birthday to give back to a three organizations that are helping advance equity and access to mental healthcare: Mind HK, The Mo Fund, The Loveland Foundation.

Why Mental Health Equity?

In June of this year, I had to navigate seeking help from a therapist for the first time since 2016 because of my anxiety, burnout, emotional exhaustion, and panic attacks.

Even though I knew about and often educated others on the challenges to care in Hong Kong (e.g. knowing where to get help, long wait times, cost, lack of insurance coverage), many of these still came as a shock to me as I began to explore my options for the first time, let alone when my mental health was already at a debilitating state. I feel grateful for being able to find a therapist who was the right fit for me with only a two week wait time; the privilege, paycheck, and support system that I have that’s allowed me to see her regularly; and for the growth and ongoing work I’ve done through therapy to-date to recover and be in a place where I am today.

Challenges to Mental Healthcare Access 

Unlike my “success story”, far too many people do not get the treatment that they need. According to a 2015 study in Hong Kong, nearly two-thirds of people experiencing mental illness did *not* seek professional care. There are so many reasons why this may be the case:
  • A lack of education how either physical or psychological symptoms may be representative of a mental illness.
  • The normalization of constant stress and anxiety (company culture, industry culture, Hong Kong culture, etc.).
  • Stigma around seeing a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist versus a “normal” doctor.
  • Cultural barriers that prohibit honest conversations around how one is doing emotionally or judgment from friends or family to “just get over it” or internalize issues.
  • High costs of treatment, lack of insurance coverage, and inability to pay out of pocket.
…Not to mention discriminatory reasons that don’t just impact a person’s ability to get care, but also perpetuate mental ill health for the way these intersect in a person’s life and identity: medical and institutional racism, ableism, classism, casteism, xenophobia, discrimination based on residency status, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.

Access to healthcare, and mental healthcare, is a human right. Provided in a timely manner. Provided with dignity. Provided patient-first, not profit-first.

What's the Goal?

My goal is to raise 30,000 HKD ($3,870 USD) for my 30th birthday for these three organizations that play an important part in ensuring others can get the help that they need by working toward eliminating some of the barriers to care mentioned above. More information on these great groups below.

A few incentives for you should you need them:

First, 100% of the funds raised up to 30,000 HKD will be matched - meaning if we raise 30,000 HKD that means 60,000 HKD to be divvy'ed up between these groups.

Second, everyone who enters will be entered into a lucky draw — prizes to be announced over the coming month!

Last but not least, for anyone who donates, you are cordially invited to my virtual Mental Health Birthday Bash on 23 December at 9:00am HKT / 22 December 8:00pm EDT. What I’m envisioning for the hour together (that is definitely not a webinar):

  • Getting to see all of your lovely faces
  • Sharing the story of my mental health journey
  • Learning more about these kickass orgs and their effort to address mental health inequity
  • A self care wake-up/turn down/turn up session brought to you by The Mo Fund team

Thank you in advance for your support and consideration!

Recent Donors 83

  • Anonymous

    HKD 30,000 14/01/2021

  • Shikha Gaur

    HKD 1,250 07/01/2021

  • Anonymous

    HKD 100 07/01/2021

  • Zo Loren

    HKD 160 01/01/2021

  • Merrill Bachouros & Alex Scott

    Happy birthday Erica! Love how much you have done to bring awareness to mental health, can’t believe we are 3 0 this year!! Look forward to seeing you when the pandemic gets better. - Merrill & Alex

    USD 25 28/12/2020

  • Daniela Sonderegger

    HKD 200 23/12/2020

  • Olivia Asby

    Happy birthday Erica! So proud of you and the work that you're doing!

    USD 10 23/12/2020

  • Elizabeth Stein

    Happy 30th birthday, Erica!!! Sending love—always so wonderful to see you thriving, and inspired by your honesty when you feel like you're not xoxo

    USD 25 23/12/2020

  • Adrienne Chen

    Happy Birthday Erica! Always admire you for finding ways to give back to your communities <3

    USD 25 23/12/2020

  • Jamie Berk

    USD 50 23/12/2020

  • Lindsey

    Happy 30th! Can't wait to see what you accomplish this decade. Proud of you for supporting such wonderful, important causes.

    HKD 500 23/12/2020

  • Raatha Ganesh

    Happy birthday lovely Erica. Your light serves the world so much more than you realise. Have a wonderful time in the next amazing decade - welcome ;)!

    HKD 300 23/12/2020

  • Deanna Kohnstam

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! So proud of you for sharing your story you’re an inspiration!

    USD 25 22/12/2020

  • Emily Fedeles

    Happy birthday, Erica! You continue to be a bright light in this world. Grateful to know you! <3

    HKD 800 22/12/2020

  • Megan Sharpe

    USD 50 22/12/2020