Environment & Health Hong Kong

University student takes her own life in third student suicide in four days

A 19-year-old Baptist University student from Tai Po took her own life on Monday afternoon – the third such case in four days.

The incident was possibly linked to academic pressure, and there were no suspicious circumstances, the police said.

a&e dept

File photo: Wikicommons.

At around noon last Friday, a Secondary Five student took their own life. According to the police, the 16-year-old was unhappy because of school work. On the same day, a Form Two student took her own life at her apartment block in Tin Shui Wai. The victim had suffered from mood swings owing to extracurricular commitments, the local newspaper Ming Pao reported.

See also: HKFP’s comprehensive guide to mental health services in Hong Kong

In March, a copy of the Education Bureau’s “no-suicide contract” was widely circulated on the internet, after seven student suicide cases emerged in the space of nine days. The document came from an eBook published by the Bureau aimed at preventing student suicide.

As debate flared online, HK Psychologists Concern said that contracts are a “commonly used and effective method” for therapy sessions. It urged netizens to stop criticising the contract so that students who seek help will not lose confidence in the document.

No Suicide contract

No-suicide contract. Photo: Gov HK.

James Hon Lin-shan, the former chairman of the Council on Professional Conduct in Education, wrote on Monday in an Apple Daily column that the root cause of youth suicide is the Bureau’s indifference to students’ academic stress brought about by the imbalance and failure of the education curriculum.

“Changing the government and education system is the only way to eradicate the problem from its root,” the column read.

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim said in October that poor life planning is a reason students take their own lives. His comments were based on a report from the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides.

If you are experiencing negative feelings, please call: The Samaritans 2896 0000 (24-hour, multilingual), Suicide Prevention Centre 2382 0000 or the Social Welfare Department 2343 2255. The Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology provides a WhatsApp hotline in English and Chinese: 6218 1084.

University student takes her own life in third student suicide in four days