Date
22 September 2017
Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong chairman Robert Wong  says parents should communicate with their children more often and encourage them to positively embrace life. The photo also shows the organization's vice-chairman, Chow Yuen-fun (middle). Photo:
Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong chairman Robert Wong says parents should communicate with their children more often and encourage them to positively embrace life. The photo also shows the organization's vice-chairman, Chow Yuen-fun (middle). Photo:

Samaritan help-seekers as young as eight, group says

Some children as young as eight years old have sought help from Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong.

In recent years, there have been a growing number of people seeking help from the suicide prevention organization, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Its hotline center, which operates a 24-hour multilingual hotline, has handled 6,561 cases in the first half of the year, up about 4 percent from the same period in 2016.

Of these cases, six were children aged between eight and nine. Every day, the center on average handles 36 cases requesting assistance.

Chairman Robert Wong said parents are mostly busy nowadays, making parent-child relationship less stable. Children hardly know how to cope with their negative emotions.

Wong said parents should communicate with their children more often and encourage them to positively embrace life.

The organization’s vice-chairman, Chow Yuen-fun, who has served as a volunteer for the Samaritan hotline for 30 years, said the best thing to do when facing people with negative emotions is to give them company and listen to them carefully, and not to talk about deep philosophies like a “saviour”.

EJ Insight supports efforts to help people deal with depression and related issues. Here is the 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention hotline of The Samaritans: +852 2896 0000 (or email [email protected]).

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