Hong Kong students are already struggling with the pressure of the looming exams, a post on an online forum has revealed. Some have even contemplated ending their lives because of them.
But students don’t have to feel like this, and they shouldn’t feel like they have to suffer in silence when they do, said Hsu Siu-man, supervisor of Wellness Mind Center in the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.
“Share it with someone, or find a way to relieve stress that works for you.” she said. “Watch a movie, listen to a song, spend time doing exercise, or even drink a glass of water.”
She also suggested it might be helpful for students to take time to acknowledge their own abilities and identify what their goals are.
“Students should adjust their attitudes and goals according to their strengths and weaknesses, and remember that they can always seek help from others.”
According to figures from the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, Hong Kong has seen an average of 23 student suicides a year between 2010 and 2014.
One user on Secrets, a Facebook discussion page, wrote: “Knowing that some of the DSE candidates in my year have committed suicide, I want to join them too.”
I’m sitting a midterm examination already and I’m only two weeks into the school year. It can’t just be me who [feels like they] can’t deal with the pressure – everyone is working so hard, whether for their DSEs or A-Levels.”
Another poster on the Facebook page wrote how they felt stressed out about sitting the DSE English exams. “I can’t afford expensive private lessons, so I can only rely on myself and take practice past papers.
“My English speaking skills are quite bad, and we don’t practise it much at school. I’m always afraid of making mistakes. I’ve asked my older sister and she told me to practise speaking to myself out loud – but I don’t know if this is actually helpful.”