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 concerns on the soaring suicide rate among young Hong Kong people. According to the figures released by the World Health Organization, the suicide rate among people who aged 15 to 24 is on the rise of 2%, causing it the only age group that got a rising record. Teenagers in this group are the treasured people to society. Therefore, it is urgent and undeniable that we must put a stop to it.


There are two possible causes leading to the escalating record of youngster’s suicide rate, which must not be overlooked.


First of all, the academic pressure coming from the new curriculum of the Diploma of Secondary Education is one of the causes. Undoubtedly, the DSE result can make or ruin teenagers’ future and definitely will they make every effort to prepare for this important exam, however, at the same time receiving a lot of pressure. As one of the Form 6 students who is on the horizon to fight against the DSE, I clearly understand how formidably it is when preparing the DSE. Walking through Mong Kok, you can easily see many students rushing to multifarious tutorial centres to attend the lessons, clutching in their hands an assortment of past papers. Apart from the heavy workload distributed by the school, they still have to finish extra exercises given by their tutorial teachers or parents in order to brush up their mountable knowledge, hoping to make a breakthrough in their DSE exam. Ironically, some of those hard-working students are not able to enjoy the fruits of their hard work since they cannot maintain a work-life balance. By using all their time in studying, they do not have leisure time to hang out with their friends or do sports to ease their stress or even cannot get enough sleep every night. Moreover, when these students get an unfavourable result in their exam due to insufficient sleeping time, their parents will have gripes on their results and force their children to spend more time on doing exercises to ensure a crowning improvement. This locks their children up into a vicious cycle. Finally, those teenagers cannot afford the intolerable stress given by their parents and school and may choose to take their lives.


Apart from the academic pressure, the exorbitant cost of housing is another culprit causing the increase in young HongKongers’ suicide rate. Due to the inflation in the economy the property prices are always at an unbeatable level. When the university graduates enter the job market, they can only receive around $1800 or 20 per cent more than their predecessors, according to the latest government statistics. It is impossible for them to buy or rent a home to live, even for renting a sub-divided unit. As the fresh graduates are adults already, they cannot rely on their parents anymore. For them, to adapt to a brand new working environment in the company is already difficult, not to mention using their meager saving to get a shelter. Without owning any property, they cannot tie the knot with their couples or provide a sweet home for their aged parents to requite their upbringing. Some of the young Hong Kong people, whose age are from 23 to 24, may then label themselves as useless people and choose to commit suicide.


To solve this serious problem, some solutions should be taken without hesitation.


For school, the teachers and the school social workers need to be aware of their students’ mental health and try not to persuade them to study in a rigorous way. Although it is beneficial for students to be braced for the exam by finishing numerous exercises every day, interoperate workload may lead their students to a stressful situation, causing a greater chance for teenagers to kill themselves. For the government, they should provide more subsidies for new graduates to buy their properties. By owning a property a worker will have more motivation to work hard on their job and be satisfied with the government performance. The political environment in Hong Kong nowadays can be stabilized and the back draws created by the increasing suicide rate can be lessened.


Even though there is a significant decrease in other age groups’ suicide rate, the government should not cherry-pack the data and ignore the back draws of this problem. We must put a stop in this grave problem.





Chris Wong