Get offline and get busy being active to get happier, says Mental Health Month survey

Get offline and get busy being active to get happier, says Mental Health Month survey

One-third of young respondents in Hong Kong are having trouble with their mental well-being - and social media doesn't help


Want to be happier? Step away from the computer!

Youngsters are being urged to cut down on their use of social media after a study found that around one-third of young respondents struggled with their mental well-being.

The Mental Health Month campaign survey, which was conducted between July and September, also found that only 30 per cent of youngsters would take proper action to handle their problems, which experts said was "rather low".

The annual survey, which is now in its fourth year, involved phone interviews with 2,000 people.

The overall mental health of Hongkongers improved slightly, rising to 58.71 out of 100 from 55.93 last year. This is based on the World Health Organisation's Five Well-being Index. A score below 52 is considered to be unsatisfactory. Young people aged between 15 and 24 scored 56, with 105 out of 341 youngsters surveyed recording scores below the satisfactory level.

Dr Tony Lai Tai-sum, from the College of Psychiatrists, said: "Students theoretically are expected to be happy, but now 30 per cent of them have unsatisfactory results." Lai added that 33 had scores lower than 29 - indicating symptoms of depression and the need for further assessment.

Work, prospects, and studies were some of the more important factors in youth mental health. Only 27.6 per cent of youngsters would seek solutions to their problems, Lai said, adding that he has seen more young people trying to avoid their problems.

Youngsters with relatively weak mental health were found to spend more time on social media compared to other age groups. Experts urged youngsters to cut back on social media and do different activities, such as volunteering and physical exercise, to ensure more balanced development.


This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Get offline to stay happier, study says


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