Date
13 December 2017
Chris developed depression as a result of school and family problems. He once attempted suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Photo: HKEJ
Chris developed depression as a result of school and family problems. He once attempted suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. Photo: HKEJ

Survey finds over half of students have depression symptoms

A survey by a social group showed that more than half of secondary school students in Hong Kong have depression symptoms.

Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service found that as much as 53 percent of secondary school students had symptoms of depression, the highest in six years of the survey, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The survey interviewed 15,560 students from 37 secondary schools in 15 districts between October last year and June this year.

About 22.3 percent of the respondents said the biggest source of pressure is the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, followed by academic studies (17.8 percent) and concerns about their future (14.6 percent).

About 4.8 percent said they had suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide.

One of the depressed students is a 17-year-old who was given the name Chris in the study.

He developed depression because of failure in his family relationships and in his studies when he was in Form Two four years ago.

Originally, Chris lived with his mother and grandmother but he and his mother moved out when they could not get along with his grandmother.

Chris was in an elite class in Form Two in which the learning atmosphere was hugely different from that of his Form One class.

He said the elite class made him uncomfortable. He said all his classmates did was study and having in-depth conversations with them was impossible.

Chris’s mother had to work long hours. He had no friends in school and felt lonely at home, so he slowly became truant.

Chris felt he was useless, saying life gave him no meaning.

Last year, he attempted suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. He was discovered in time and sent to hospital.

He is now under psychiatric treatment and receives counseling from a social worker.

A social worker from Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service said Chris has expectations for himself, always giving himself some tasks that were impossible to meet.

Chris’s situation has been stabilizing, and he will repeat his Form Four studies in the new academic year.

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