Students hint at suicide on Net

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 September, 2008, 12:00am

A suicide-prevention group has located about 1,000 websites and weblogs in which students express frustration about the new school year. It has also received 10 e-mails from teenagers hinting at suicide.

The internet search also found that some teenagers suffered from emotional problems caused by their studies and peer relationships. Some, whose families could not afford to pay school fees, were worried that they could not find part-time jobs.

Negative messages such as: 'Nobody will feel sad even if I die,' 'I can't stand to live!' 'I think troubles will go away after death,' and 'I will kill myself if I fail to be promoted to the next form again' were spotted.

Elsie Chien Man-hung, deputy director of Suicide Prevention Services, said teenagers were easily influenced by peer groups.

'If one youngster has thought about committing suicide, others close to him or her might be infected with the negative emotion and develop such thoughts too.

'We have received about 10 e-mails from young people expressing suicidal thoughts since last month, and our registered social workers send them replies and hopefully can offer them counselling and help them develop positive thinking,' Ms Chien said.

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day next Wednesday, the group is considering working with Yahoo by displaying the group's 24-hour hotline number - 2382 0000 - whenever a Web user searches for websites related to suicide or death.

The concern group appealed to all Net surfers to refer people who had posted messages expressing suicidal thoughts at forums or blogs by e-mailing, or seek help from others.

The group will hold a forum on life and death at the Central Library on September 21.