Hong Kong: Government, schools need to do more to stop youth suicides, say experts

Posted on March 24, 2014

Government urged to be more active as social stigma proves stumbling block to reducing number of young people taking their own lives

HONG KONG - Ingrained resistance to discussing mental health problems and suicide in Hong Kong is proving to be an obstacle to bringing down the rising rate of young people killing themselves, suicide prevention workers say.

The city's youth suicide rate rose by 19 per cent between 2010 and 2012. In 2010, it was 7 in every 100,000 youths, but the number rose to 8.3 in 2012.

Meanwhile, the overall suicide rate dropped 8 per cent - from 13.8 in 2010 to 12.7 in 2012, according to the University of Hong Kong's Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention.

"Every week, two to three young people take their lives in Hong Kong," said Dr Paul Wong Wai-ching, a fellow at the centre.

A total of 189 pupils from 47 local schools have taken part in the Young Samaritans Peer Support Programme, which started in 2010. The participants, many of whom had been affected by self harm or suicidal thoughts, attended workshops and training camps that taught them to handle stress and suicidal thoughts. They were then asked to hold assemblies to share their knowledge in their schools.

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Category(s):Suicide Prevention, Teenage Issues

Source material from South China Morning Post

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