A YOUTH association yesterday issued a plea to the Government to make young people and their problems a top priority. The call for urgent attention came from Executive Councillor Ms Rosanna Wong Yick-ming, who is executive director of the Hongkong Federation of Youth Groups, following the release of a survey conducted among young people. The study of 614 people aged 10 to 19 was prompted by concern over the number of young people who have committed suicide. The aim of the survey was to find out how young people solve their problems and who they turn to for help. The poll showed that parents and friends are the most likely to be consulted, followed by classmates. Teachers are generally the last person students turn to for help or advice. When asked their opinion on young people committing suicide, almost 60 per cent thought they were foolish. But a worrying 1.6 per cent said they thought children who committed suicide had done ''the right thing''. Almost 15 per cent said it was wrong to commit suicide. But the clearest finding of the survey was that of the 50 per cent of pupils who had a problem in the past three months, just over 86 per cent were worried about school work. ''It came out so clearly that school work bothers young people,'' Ms Wong said. ''Why is something we have to look at. ''As the Federation of Youth Groups, we want the Government to see that priority needs to be given to education in the area of social work services and the curriculum. ''We need action and resource commitment and it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.'' This survey was the first of many which will turn the spotlight on Hongkong's youth for the first time. From April, the federation will release the findings of monthly surveys conducted on specific subjects. First of the 12 to be published will be the findings of a poll on youth gangs. Other subjects the federation plans to explore include school dropouts, teenage pregnancy and petty crime. Every three months the results of a more in-depth study on youth will be sent to government policy branches, legislative councillors, members of advisory committees and tertiary training institutions. ''We want the community to listen to the younger generation - what they think, how they're behaving and what's on their mind,'' Ms Wong said. After studying the findings of its first survey on youth and problem solving, the Hongkong Federation of Youth Groups issued five recommendations: The pressure of school work on young people should be reduced; The role of teachers as counselling support should be improved. The authorities should put in more resources to train teachers to deal with young people's problems; The manning ratio of school social workers to pupils is poor at 1:3,000 and progress on increasing the number has been slow over the past decade. A target of one social worker for each school should be set; The survey showed the relationship between young people and their peers was very close. It is crucial that young people be aware of the services available for help so they can guide their friends in need; and Younger children were found to confide in their parents more than older ones - parents were encouraged to establish a close relationship with their children while small to build a solid relationship for the future. Family Life Education should be strengthened to facilitate this.