According to a report conducted by the Department of Health, 2.8% of Hong Kong students considered taking their own lives in the past 12 months, while 1.3% attempted suicide in the same time period. The report was based on a survey of 330,000 primary and secondary school students across the territory, and found that the figure for students who considered suicide increased by almost 50% since 2018-19.

The survey was based on the results of self-administered questionnaires filled out by 233,000 primary school students and 97,000 secondary school pupils. While nearly 6,000 (2.4%) children at the primary school level had considered suicide, a little over 2,500 (1.1%) attempted to end their lives. The rates increased among older students, with almost 3,600 (3.7%) of secondary school-goers reporting suicidal thoughts and roughly 1,500 (1.6%) who tried to take their lives.

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In addition, the report showed that more students needed referrals to special assessment centres, specialist clinics, or other organisations for psychosocial and behavioural problems, with the figure of 1.1% in 2018-2019 going up to 1.8% in 2022-2023. According to local media reports, as of November 2023, 37 Hong Kong students committed suicide last year.

Hong Kong’s recent suicide rates have increased, according to a report released last year by city-based NGO The Samaritan Befrienders. The study found that, on average, 2.96 persons died of suicide every day in Hong Kong —the highest since 2007.

If you have suicidal thoughts, or know someone who does, call the Mental Health Support Hotline at +852 18111, or Suicide Prevention Services at +852 2382 0000.

Header image credits: @volodymyr1982 via Canva

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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