In this episode, we’re joined by guest speakers Jenny, Nana, and Jasper from Space Hug, an initiative addressing the rapid rise of technology use in China, with a focus on Chinese women’s mental health. Using the popular Chinese social media platform RED, Space Hug disseminates knowledge and raises awareness on critical issues like mental illness stigma, social anxiety, and phobias through live streams and workshops. Garnering over 100,000 views from their initial streams, Space Hug has evolved into a platform for support, mutual learning, and growth.
We explore how rapid urbanization and demanding work cultures, represented by terms like “996,” “007,” and “11117,” affect the mental well-being of Chinese women. The episode uncovers systemic barriers such as stigma, lack of awareness, and financial constraints that prevent women from seeking help. Our conversation also delves into the varying challenges women face in different regions within China and discusses strategies to make mental health services more accessible and adaptable. Space Hug exemplifies the innovative approaches being taken to offer unique mental health solutions for Chinese women.
Space Hug’s Bio:
Space Hug is an innovative platform co-founded by Jenny, Nana, and Jasper, founded with the purpose of creating a safe space for individuals who often find themselves without a place to express their challenges in life or receive support. Space Hug’s live stream is hosted through RED, a major Chinese social media platform with an active user base exceeding 200 million by 2022. The audience consists mainly of young, dynamic individuals, with 72% identified as Gen Z, and a male-to-female ratio of 3:7.
The unique collaboration of these three dedicated professionals brings together different perspectives and professional insights to offer compassionate listening and guidance on RED. Their distinct approach has gained great popularity, leading to recognition by the platform and promotion to a broader audience. In the past three months, Space Hug has conducted more than 10 live streams and workshops on RED, covering vital topics such as mental illness stigmas, social anxiety, and phobia. Impressively, They received over 100,000 views solely from their initial four live streams.
More than just a support network, Space Hug is a community for mutual learning, where individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences can come together, share their experiences, and grow. With a foundation in education, counseling, and mental health, the team’s combined insights enrich Space Hug, fostering a nurturing environment that promotes open dialogue, empathy, and individual growth. Their success on RED is a testament to the relevance and impact of their work, and Space Hug shows the necessity of listening and communication in today’s complex world.
Jenny (Haiyan) Xu’s Bio:
Jenny is a certified junior mental health counselor based in Singapore. She graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Monash University with a Master’s degree in Counseling. In her day-to-day job, she deals with automation and systems. Beyond her professional role, Jenny provides virtual mental health counselling services, Valuing the combination of rationality and empathy in her work. She is also a loving dog mommy to a three-year-old border collie.
Nana (Huang, Yuqi)’s Bio:
Nana (Huang, Yuqi) graduated from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, in 2015 and has dedicated herself to the youth education field for over eight years. Her extensive experience and close interactions with women and children have fueled a profound interest in women’s and children’s psychology. This connection with these two social groups has informed her work and driven her commitment to understanding and supporting their unique needs and experiences.
Jasper (Peng) Yang’s Bio:
Jasper Yang, a PHD student at the Education University of Hong Kong, has been dedicated to youth groups since 2014. Working primarily in China’s remote southwestern area, he focuses on life values and mental health awareness. His studies in education, coupled with real-world experience, enable him to understand and address the needs of the region’s younger generations. Although not yet a mentor, his commitment to community and belief in equal opportunities shape his ongoing efforts to make a positive impact.