Welfare agencies can help

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 November, 1998, 12:00am

I refer to the family tragedy which occurred at a flat in the Tin Ping Estate on October 19, where a mother threw her two sons out of a window before leaping to her own death.

I felt sorry for the mother who killed herself, but could not agree with the way she handled the problem. The obligation of parents is to protect and respect the lives of their children, not to take away their lives. Children's right to live must be respected.

Welfare agencies are always there to offer assistance.

Should people encounter difficulties due to marital, family, financial or unemployment problems, they should talk to family members, to friends, or to their neighbours.

They should, if need be, seek professional assistance from social workers.

Neighbours can be of particular help if relatives live far away, because they can offer immediate assistance to a troubled family.

It is so important for an individual who is feeling suicidal to have someone to talk to.

Neighbours can be of real help when you are in need. People should maintain good relations with their neighbours.

I was disappointed by the exaggerated media coverage given to this tragedy and its aftermath.

The press did not help matters.

Instead, it must have been disturbing for those families where there are severe marital and relationship problems.

It may have given very disturbed people the idea that the actions taken by Chan Lam Man-fong were justifiable.

Children face unnecessary pressure in a problem family. They can also be adversely influenced by press reports.

I urge the media to be cautious when reporting about such tragedies and generally when writing about issues of social concern.

Mutual love and understanding among family members are important for they can help a family overcome whatever difficulties it faces. If a family is experiencing problems, it should not hesitate to seek help from support agencies.

Y. F. HUI Director Hong Kong Council of Social Service