A shocking 62% majority of Hong Kong secondary school pupils ‘show symptoms of depression’

 Many affected by depression smoke. Photo: Dustin Shum

Feelings of despondency and dejection are common among young Hongkongers, according to a survey which says more than 60 per cent of secondary school pupils in the city have symptoms of depression.

Polytechnic University’s nursing school and the Christian Family Service Centre polled 12,518 Form 1 to Form 7 pupils from 2011 to last year.

Using an internationally recognised standard to gauge the pupils’ mental health, the survey found that 62.1 per cent of respondents had slight to very serious depression symptoms.

Some 37.6 per cent of pupils had slight symptoms, 16.5 per cent medium, 5.7 per cent serious, while 2.3 per cent had very serious indicators of depression.

“Regardless of the level of depression, they need support from their family and friends as soon as those symptoms surface. If it gets serious they may need to seek medical help,” said Dr Vico Chiang Chung-lim, assistant professor at the nursing school.

Of those who had very serious depression symptoms, about 80% had thought about hurting themselves or even committing suicide.

The survey also found that 30.2 per cent of respondents were sometimes anxious; 11.7 per cent get anxious easily, and 5.5 per cent get anxious often.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 March, 2015, 4:12pm

UPDATED : Thursday, 26 March, 2015, 8:51am

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