- Nearly three-quarters of Hongkongers show depressive symptoms, a significant rise over last year
- In addition to introducing mental health metrics into policymaking, each one of us must boost our mental health literacy and stop stigmatising mental illness
Without being able to attend classes that have been paid for, due to social distancing, the weight of those 30,000 words fall solely on us parents – no teacher or grandparent or aunt or uncle can help with diffusing that responsibility. And being a bilingual household, we’ll need to double the talking. That’s close to 11 million words in two languages that should have been spoken in the past six months.
The professor’s use of euphemism is admirable. “Not good” is surely an understatement when nearly three-quarters of Hongkongers have been found to have shown moderate to high levels of depressive symptoms – like feelings of worthlessness and recurrent thoughts of death.
HKU’s dean of medicine Professor Gabriel Leung called the finding that nearly one in 10 Hongkongers have suspected depression in last year’s study “an epidemic of mental health [issues]”. Granted, “epidemic” has taken on an entirely different meaning since last year, but it’s gone up sevenfold. The compound impact of social unrest and public health crisis is catastrophic.
It’s good to see the Advisory Committee on Mental Health roll out a “Shall We Talk” public awareness campaign, but so much more needs to be done. While – borrowing the words of Professor Chen here – mental health policies and services are “not good”, we need more than just the government to do better.
Yes, we will need to introduce mental health metrics into our policymaking processes. But it takes all of us to boost our mental health literacy. It takes every one of us to stop
#RobertReview: 9 | 10
Facing Mental Distress during Coronavirus
Published: 10th August 2020.