PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 July, 2010, 12:00am

How we can help mentally ill people

The number of mentally ill people is rising. I think the root cause is pressure - from family, friends, work and so on.

In Hong Kong, many people are under pressure from all directions. They often cannot sleep at night and go to work or school tired the next day. Their condition worsens after a period of time.

They may hear noises, suffer hallucinations and develop paranoia. They may think people are constantly talking about them or want to hurt them. This could lead to tragedy, like the recent one in Kwai Chung. A mentally ill man killed two people with a knife and seriously injured three others.

What can we do to help these people? It can be difficult when we have a neighbour who is mentally ill. But we should still show love and concern for them.

Society needs to help them to lessen the chance of relapse. The government should allocate more resources to help mentally ill people recover and integrate with society.

Emily Chow, SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School

Don't make innocent children suffer

I am writing in response to the article 'Second-hand cigarette smoke damages children's arteries' which appeared in the Young Post recently. We all know smoking is bad for our health. Smokers are likely to develop lung cancer, heart disease and breathing problems.

Unfortunately, not only smokers suffer, but also their innocent children who inhale the cigarette smoke. The article also said children exposed to second-hand smoke develop thicker arteries.

The government and schools should do more to discourage smoking. More anti-smoking pamphlets and activities should be organised. I think the fine for smoking in places where smoking is prohibited should go up to HK$3,000.

Schools could invite health professionals to give lectures or conduct workshops to alert youngsters to the danger of smoking.

Carol Cheung So Mui, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Tuen Mun)

Idol worship does not make sense

Fans spend a lot of time and money on their idols. They buy their photos and CDs. They read the latest news about their idols on the internet. They read their idols' blogs.

Many of them stick their idols' photos in their wallets. They spend a lot on gossip magazines. Some put up giant posters in their rooms.

They wait for their idols outside radio or TV stations and chase their idols' cars. Have they ever stopped to think about their behaviour? Would they put their mum or dad's photos in their wallets? Do they ever tell their parents how grateful they are? They should put their family's photos in their wallets - they are the most important.

Fiona Lau Yan-tung, Christian Alliance S.C. Chan Memorial College

Be a volunteer

Recently, I volunteered to read English books to primary students with learning difficulties. At the beginning, I was not very keen. But the experience has taught me a lot of things.

As these students have learning difficulties, they have problems understanding a lot of words. It's also hard for them to concentrate in class. We have to be patient and teach them in a different way. We have to use some tools, such as pictures and games, to get their attention and make them interested.

I have come to realise that volunteering is a meaningful experience. You're not just helping others - you're helping yourself too.

Daisy Chiu, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

A fair deal

I am writing in response to the article 'Coffee culture' (Young Post, May, 14). When we are enjoying a cup of espresso or cappuccino, we seldom think about fair trade. Take Ethiopia, for example. Ethiopia's coffee farmers are struggling because they are not getting a fair deal. Middlemen buy coffee beans from the farmers at very low prices and sell them to multinational coffee roasters at high prices.

Many farmers earn less than US$1 a day. They can't afford to send their children to school, and their children must work to help support the family.

We should support fair trade coffee.

Tina Lam Hiu-man, Leung Shek Chee College