Youth Suicide


You read from the news that the suicide rate is on the rise among young Hongkongers. You are alarmed by this phenomenon and have therefore decided to write a letter to a local newspaper Hong Kong Post to voice your opinion. In your letter, express your concern and discuss the possible causes. You should also suggest possible solutions to the problem. Sign your letter ‘Chris Wong’. Do not write an address.



Dear Editor,


I am writing to express my concern about the suicide rate among adolescents being on the increase. This is an alarming phenomenon which deserves our instant attention. Meanwhile, every sector in the territory shall work hand in hand to resolve this issue.


In an attempt to address the worrying problem, we should identify accurately what the causes are. As the proverb goes, prescribing the right medicine for the illness is the first step to success.


First of all, juveniles are suffering from pressure every moment. No one in Hong Kong is exempted from stress and not even the teens can get the better end of the stick. Teenagers’ stress comes from parents’ ambitions. Nowadays, the ones who are admitted to universities, especially the prestigious ones, are deemed as valuable future pillars. They are to contribute and benefit the city in the near future using their world of knowledge and insight. Hold on, what about the less ‘elite’ adolescents? Yes, they are making contributions to society too. Yet, it is common perceptions of parents that those will be less respected and appreciated. That is why there appear ‘helicopter parents’ who endlessly force their offspring to become elites in all aspects. Gradually, parents may exert immense pressure on their children in all ways including verbally forcing them, applying for multifarious activities and so on. Day after day, teenagers inevitably feel increasingly stressed. Thus, sadly yet unsurprisingly the suicide rate is on the rise.


Aside from the pressure comes from parents, there exists peer pressure. During puberty, many teenagers tend to compete and compare with peers. They love holding a ‘contest’ with fellows, be it in the academic, physical or social aspects. Yet, there is no telling that who the winner is. Once you ‘win’, your self-esteem may be boosted considerably. On the contrary, if you are the ‘loser’, it may upset you and devastate your confidence. Moreover, adolescents are likely to attach much importance to their social relations. They desire a large social circle as well as a number of understanding companions. However, no man is perfect. Not every one of the teens attains gifted social skills. They may only get a few comrades and narrow social connections. Some of them may feel dissatisfied or even alienated. Feeling frustrated, they have no way-out but only to commit suicide.


After thoroughly exploring the underlying culprits for committing suicide, the coming step is to prescribe the ‘right medicine’ accordingly.


First and foremost, parents’ care is of cordial importance. Although it is common that parents work for long hours and are suffering from extremely busy work, they shall still use ten or twenty minutes to chat with their beloved kids every day. Be it a short-time chit-chat or a deep straight talk, it is conducive to retaining parent-child relationships as well as letting parents face the barriers with kids. If the teens realize there are parents who care for them much, they are less likely to feel hopeless and thus, end their life to ‘so-called’ end of all the problems they encounter.


Apart from parents’ care, schools should work with the government to give proper ethics education. The government should cooperate with schools to come up with some ways to help the youngsters handle stress and to keep calm and relax. It is hoped that ‘committing suicide’ will never be on students’ lists of solutions to troubles. Instead, they should think of approaching parents and teachers or other rational ways.


Adolescents are our future pillars whom we should put our utmost efforts to care for. Concerted efforts of parents, schools and the government should be paid to well protect them. It is hoped that the number of juvenile suicide will be zero in the near future.





Chris Wong