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3 student suicides in 4 days in HK

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In the last few days, there has been a series of student suicides that have shocked parents, teachers and students alike.

The latest tragedy is the death of a 12-year-old boy who reportedly fell from his 15th floor apartment at Tin Chung Court. As reported by Apple Daily, the boy was found unconscious. When the paramedics arrived at the scene, nothing could be done to revive the boy. The case is being treated as suicide.

On Monday, a 15-year-old and Secondary-Four student at St Bonaventure College and High School was found lying unconscious, after reportedly jumping off the podium of a shopping mall – 18 meters high – in Wong Tai Sin. As reported by Police officers, after leaving his home, the student sent a final text message to his mother: “He said he was tired and did not want to go to school and live anymore”.

Last Saturday, a 20-year-old Chinese University of Hong Kong student was reported to have jumped to her death from her flat in Dawning Views, Fan Ling. She was the fifth Chinese Unversity student to commit suicide since the beginning of the school year.

Of the 16 student suicides reported (since September 2015), six were from Chinese University of Hong Kong.

According to SCMP, “The Chinese University is to step up its counselling service: a psychiatrist will be hired to visit the campus once a week to see students with needs, and three more counsellors are being recruited for the student affairs office to expand the team there from eight to 11.”

Professor Paul Yip, Director of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, told SCMP that usually, “there are around two cases of similar student suicides each year.” This year, Professor Yip the high number of student deaths to an increased pressure on students due to a change in the education system.

In December, a six-year-old student attempted suicide by holding a pair of scissors to her neck. The Primary One student said she could not cope with primary school life and wanted to go back to kindergarten.

Suicide is Hong Kong’s biggest cause of unnatural death, followed by accidents and attacks, according to a report by the government-established Child Fatality Review Panel.

Main reasons for student suicide:
Worries about the future
Relationships with boyfriends/ girlfriends and families
Psychological trauma
Mental health
Stress from school
Peer pressure

If someone you know is experiencing severe depression, you can call the Samaritans’ 24-hour hotline at 2896 0000.

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