Activists and politicians have this week renewed calls for the government to step up efforts to prevent student suicides in Hong Kong.
The calls come as news reports of student suicides and attempted suicides across the city continue to appear on a weekly basis, with five student suicides and one attempted suicide having been recorded since Chinese New Year alone.
In an article earlier this week, The Standard said that members of the Civil Alliance for Student Suicide Prevention gathered outside the Central Government Offices on Sunday demanding that the government set up a “high-level interdepartmental platform to look into the problem of student suicides.”
In 2016, a spate of student suicides led to the creation of the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides, a group tasked with the aim of working to prevent the occurrence of further tragedies.
In a report published in November 2016, the committee said, “School is a very important place for young people to understand themselves, accept their limitations and develop their potentials. The sense of achievement attained while in school does not necessarily have to come from academic pursuit, but can be from other aspects of school life. Therefore, the system as a whole should recognise non-academic achievements, and students’ talents and abilities in different fields should be recognised, appreciated and developed.”
It concluded that “with concerted effort of the Government, different stakeholders and the community at large, a comprehensive and integrated response to student suicide can be achieved and a caring environment can be cultivated to support students’ well-being.”