Date
14 December 2018
A survey conducted by the Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service finds that more than half of the secondary school students it polled showed signs of depression of varying degrees. Photo: Now News
A survey conducted by the Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service finds that more than half of the secondary school students it polled showed signs of depression of varying degrees. Photo: Now News

Teachers, secondary students show signs of depression: surveys

Depression afflicts a substantial number of teachers and secondary school students in Hong Kong, separate surveys have found.

According to a survey conducted by the Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, which was founded by Hong Kong Baptist University under the commission of the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong, just over half the students it polled showed signs of depression of varying degrees, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The survey interviewed more than 7,500 students from 21 secondary schools between October 2017 and June this year.

Of the respondents, 4.1 percent were found to have “serious” or “extremely serious” depression symptoms, an increase from the 3.6 percent seen in a similar survey conducted a year ago.

The major sources of stress for them included exam pressures and worries about their future prospects, RTHK reported.

To prevent schoolchildren from falling into a depression or help ease their symptoms, the charity advised parents to spend more time with them as well as support them to cultivate hobbies in multiple aspects.

Separately, a survey jointly conducted by the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union (HKPTU) and the Hong Kong Psychological Society’s division of clinical psychology showed many teachers also found their work stressful.

Of the 1,836 teachers interviewed through a questionnaire in April and May this year, more than eight in 10 teachers admitted they face considerable or extreme pressure at work.

Nearly 30 percent of the teachers have medium or worse depression symptoms, and some of them even had once thought about hurting themselves, according to the survey.

The stress levels are associated with long working hours, concerns over job security and similar challenges, especially among younger staff, RTHK quoted the HKPTU as saying.

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