Counselling organisation supervisors have expressed concern at the alarming number of student suicides in recent weeks.
Vincent Ng Chi-kwan, executive director of helpline Suicide Prevention Service, says timely and proper intervention is key. He advised Young Post readers to care for others, and pay attention to their own emotions.
“For instance, if your friends say they are helpless, or they are ‘unusually’ quiet, ask them what’s happened. Or say: ‘If you have anything to say, I’m always here’. Show that you care, and always keep a close eye on their emotions. Always show that you are willing to talk and listen. Show people you are someone they can trust and talk to. ”
Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups supervisor Hsu Siu-man agreed, and said she was sad and worried about the incidents, and encouraged young people to support one another.
For those with depression, it can feel like taking your own life is the only way out. Meet “Mel”, a medical student who was pulled back from the brink
“Sending a private message to someone shows you’re responsive and supportive,” she says, adding that adults should also do what they can to help the situation.
“Parents or teachers can point out where students have gone wrong, and show clearly how they can improve. For instance, if you haven’t done well in an exam, they could show you how to improve and encourage you about future results instead of blaming you,” she says, adding that teachers or parents should think about how best to help struggling students.
Their advice comes after two more young people died in unrelated incidents this week. Late on Tuesday night, a 13-year-old boy died after falling from a block of flats in Ngau Tau Kok. This followed a 19-year-old boy who was found hanged in Mid-Levels at around 5am on Tuesday.
Police say both young people had emotional health problems.
There is help out there. These are 24-hour hotlines if you need to talk:
The Samaritans: 2896 0000
The Samaritan Befrienders: 2389 2222
Suicide Prevention Service: 2382 0000
HKFYG Counselling Service: 2777 8899
HKFYG uTouch Portal has an online chat forum from 2pm to midnight (Monday to Saturday) at utouch.hk.