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 on the rising suicide rate among youngsters in Hong Kong.


According to a recent report released by the Hong Kong government, the percentage of local teenagers who took their lives has been surging.  News about students committing suicide often hogs the headlines.  Certainly this is an alarming phenomenon and we have to prevent this worrying trend from continuing, solutions are needed in order to save the youth’s lives.  Before delving into some solutions, let’s probe into the problem first to understand the possible causes of local youngsters committing suicide first.


One of the possible causes is that teenagers today are not capable of handling problems.  Hong Kong has become an affluent city since 70s, and children being raised nowadays tend to be receiving intensive care from their parents.  Under a prosperous economy, parents tend to invest a lot of time and money on their kids. Parents may try to eliminate every obstacle standing in the way of their beloved children’s growth.  Some even refuse to let their kids grow up by encountering failures.  Being over-protected by their helicopter parents, some of the spoilt children may then lack the ability in solving problems.  When children grow up, they may face more sophisticated problems like interpersonal relationships and academic prospects.  Not having enough experiences in dealing with difficulties, teens may then not be able to handle stress while facing the problems in life.  The unprepared youth may resort to suicide and choose to jump off the building in order to escape from the cruelty of life.  The lack of problem-solving and stress-handling abilities explains why there has been an increasing number of youngsters committing suicide.


Apart from the fact that the young generation is being more vulnerable than the previous generation, the increasing amount of stress is also one crucial factor contributing to this alerting phenomenon.  Thanks to globalization, children are now facing keen and intense competition, especially from the Mainland China.  Teens have to study hard in order to defeat others and get a university degree.  Students may have to attend lots of tutorial classes and devote much time to doing revisions no matter whether they want them or not.  Some are even forced by their tiger mums and dads to join different interest groups with the aim of making them outshine their peers, cultivating a better prospect.  Children are then be over-occupied and when they lack time developing a hobby that they have keen interest in, the amount of stress gained from life is then hard to be released.  In facing with a high degree of stress, it is not uncommon to see youngsters being diagnosed with psychological problems like depression without themselves noticing that they are sick.  In the worst-case scenario, teens may even take their lives when they feel completely hopeless. Apparently, children nowadays are overwhelmed by stress from life and therefore more and more youngsters choose to ‘end their pain’ by committing suicide.


Indeed, the trend of teenagers committing suicide should never be encouraged.  Life is precious and therefore, after understanding the causes of this worrying phenomenon, measures should be taken in order that the young lives can be saved.


To commence with, parents should first let go of their children.  Parents are advised to minimize their unnecessary interventions in their beloved children’s life.  When kids encounter difficulties and failures, parents should not immediately rush to assist their children.  By handling troubles in life individually, children can learn to develop their great perseverance in the face of any difficulty ahead of them even when they are facing them alone.  They will also be able to learn how to overcome barriers while getting no help from others.  By doing so, children can then develop their problem-solving skills and stress-handling ability so that they will not choose to give up or even escape by taking their lives simply because of some minor failures.


While parents can take part in alleviating this alarming phenomenon, schools are also suggested to shoulder their responsibilities.  Schools can promote an optimistic attitude of life to their students, for example, teaching students the importance of perseverance and endurance.  Schools can also show how precious and interesting life can be by talking about having entertainments, meeting new friends and forming a family with the one they love.  This can also let the youngsters understand that they should not miss the important things in life so that they will not have the thought of ending their lives.


All in all, there has been more and more young Hongkongers committing suicide and this alarming phenomenon should not be taken lightly.  Parents and schools are strongly urged to take actions before the situation becomes irreparable.



Yours faithfully,

Chris Wong

Chris Wong