Technology can empower the underprivileged in a community effectively if it is done right. CityU Apps Lab (CAL) made a great attempt to put career opportunities together for patients who have recovered from mental illness by launching the “Job Hunting App” in a job fair co-organized by Kwai Chung Hospital and Home Affairs Department Tsuen Wan District Office on 11th November 2015.
On the day of the event, hundreds of potential employees flooded the job fair to hunt for a new career. Dr. William Lo, the Hospital Chief Executive of Kwai Chung Hospital, praised and expressed his gratitude towards all caring companies for offering employment opportunities to ex-mentally ill people. Also, inspirational sharing was given by company representatives and patients who have recovered from mental disorder and reentered the workforce.
Searching for a job is often a tough process for all job seekers especially recovered mental patients. Therefore, the “Job Hunting App”, presented by CAL and Kwai Chung Hospital, aims to assist these job seekers to find the right career prospect, and allow employers to match the right person with the right job.
“It is highly convenient as the potential employees could regard for current job openings and submit their job applications directly via the app,” said Tom Cheung, a graduate from School of Creative Media at CityU, together with the team members, Celia Kwan and Sean Choo who are students studying Computer Science, had put a lot of effort to develop the app. “We are so glad to present the app to all users, not just because our product will be published, but also because of the significance it carries – to enhance the social inclusion using technology for people who have suffered from mental diseases and career discrimination.”.
“It could be a vicious circle. Mental problem may make it harder to land a job, resulting in unemployment or settling in an unsatisfying job. This app is able to aid and ease the job searching and application process by only placing relevant job postings which are opened for recovered mental patience,” Sean believed that the app will serve as a sustainable platform to provide vacancies information specifically for those in recovery.
Additionally, Sean demonstrated the user flow of the app for employer and employee respectively, and emphasized that the team recognized data privacy as first priority. They did their best to provide measures in maintaining the data security to protect the users’ confidentiality.
“It is exciting to engage with the local community and make valuable contributions to the city’s future with their in-depth knowledge and innovative ideas on mobile applications,” Dr. Ray Cheung, the Director of CAL, pointed out that the project engagement in developing apps genuinely adheres to the mission of CAL – allowing students to make concrete practice of meaningful ideas.
Patients are often disappointed and upset as they would encounter many roadblocks, setbacks and failure while searching for jobs even after recovery. Returning to work is a big step for them to get back to their normal lives in the society. Hopefully, this app can be a lasting support for recovered mental patients to build a better tomorrow, as well as giving hope to all of them on the possibility of landing a job after recovery.