Date
19 November 2017
"Muk Chai" (R) was among the youngsters interviewed in a study on depression among school students in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ
"Muk Chai" (R) was among the youngsters interviewed in a study on depression among school students in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

High rates of depression among secondary school pupils: survey

More than 60 percent of secondary school students in Hong Kong have symptoms of depression, a survey has shown.

Over 40 percent of the students were suffering from anxiety, and about half of the most depressed pupils said they had even thought of ending their lives, according to the survey conducted by the Christian family Service Centre and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Nursing.

About 12,500 students in 16 randomly selected secondary schools in Tseung Kwan O, Kwun Tong and Wong Tai Sin were polled for the study which was undertaken between 2011 and 2014, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.

The findings show that Hong Kong has more serious problems compared to other advanced countries with regard to depression among the youth.

A 17-year-old student was quoted as saying that he was suffering from depression and anxiety disorder during his first year in the secondary school.

He said that he once went to school with a hammer and fought with classmates. Later, he is said to have dropped out and committed acts such as cutting his wrists and taking drugs.

The person, who was identified by his nickname “Muk Chai’, said he finally found succor by making music.

Following the latest survey, social workers have called on the government to regularly conduct both physical and emotional health surveys on young people.

According to the World Health Organization, depression has become the major cause of illness and handicap among people in the age between 10 and 19.

In deaths in the age group, the biggest cause is said to be suicide.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 26.

Translation by Vey Wong

[Chinese version 中文版]

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