Paul Yip

Paul Yip

Paul Yip is the founding director of the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong, and a professor at the university's Department of Social Work and Social Administration. His interests include suicide prevention, population health and poverty research. He serves as the secretary general of the Asian Population Association and the research chair of the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong. He was a part-time member of the Central Policy Unit and a member of the Hong Kong government's Steering Committee on Population Policy.

Latest from Paul Yip

The View | Hong Kong’s poor and outsourced workers need better wages and protection

Outsourcing might be convenient and cost-effective for employers, but that comes at a high cost for some of the city’s most vulnerable workers. There is much to be gained in the community by offering more generous wages and protection to these households.

Outsourcing might be convenient and cost-effective for employers, but that comes at a high cost for some of the city’s most vulnerable workers. There is much to be gained in the community by offering more generous wages and protection to these households.

26 Dec 2021 - 9:45AM
Opinion | To heal Hong Kong, start with the young protesters jailed for the 2019 social movement

Calls for society to reconcile is empty talk unless we have practical action, starting with the thousands of young Hongkongers in jail, many talented and remorseful. At the minimum, restore their university places, encourage companies to look past their convictions and provide counselling and support to repair family relations.

Calls for society to reconcile is empty talk unless we have practical action, starting with the thousands of young Hongkongers in jail, many talented and remorseful. At the minimum, restore their university places, encourage companies to look past their convictions and provide counselling and support to repair family relations.

11 Dec 2021 - 10:30AM
Opinion | Poverty report shows Hong Kong is failing its most vulnerable

Latest figures show almost a quarter of the Hong Kong’s population is living below the poverty line. The fact poverty is increasing at the same time social welfare spending is ballooning shows a rethink of the government’s approach is urgently needed.

Latest figures show almost a quarter of the Hong Kong’s population is living below the poverty line. The fact poverty is increasing at the same time social welfare spending is ballooning shows a rethink of the government’s approach is urgently needed.

17 Nov 2021 - 6:45AM
Opinion | Suicide prevention should start at home, in every Hong Kong household

About 60 per cent of Hong Kong suicides occur at home, with women, the widowed and those living alone at particular risk. Mobilising families, community resources, NGOs and the government is essential to creating a supportive environment for those who are struggling.

About 60 per cent of Hong Kong suicides occur at home, with women, the widowed and those living alone at particular risk. Mobilising families, community resources, NGOs and the government is essential to creating a supportive environment for those who are struggling.

11 Nov 2021 - 9:15AM
Opinion | How exercise and music can promote students’ mental health and academic success

While physical exercise and academic study might seem in conflict, they can coexist because good mental health is essential to academic success. Music is also an outlet for students who feel trapped by their struggles and unable to express themselves.

While physical exercise and academic study might seem in conflict, they can coexist because good mental health is essential to academic success. Music is also an outlet for students who feel trapped by their struggles and unable to express themselves.

30 Oct 2021 - 6:15AM
Opinion | As the coronavirus deepens inequality, mental health care access for all must be a focus

The World Health Organization’s mental health action plan sets out clear actions for member states, including priorities around suicide prevention. Increasing suicide rates among the youth, under-reporting of suicide among refugees, and the criminilisation of suicide in some countries are areas of concern.

The World Health Organization’s mental health action plan sets out clear actions for member states, including priorities around suicide prevention. Increasing suicide rates among the youth, under-reporting of suicide among refugees, and the criminilisation of suicide in some countries are areas of concern.

13 Oct 2021 - 4:30AM
Opinion | To prevent suicide, we need to become a beacon of hope to those in pain

In Hong Kong, deaths by suicide have increased among three vulnerable groups, including older women. World Suicide Prevention Day is about embedding awareness, support and action into our everyday lives, and reaching out to family, friends and even strangers.

In Hong Kong, deaths by suicide have increased among three vulnerable groups, including older women. World Suicide Prevention Day is about embedding awareness, support and action into our everyday lives, and reaching out to family, friends and even strangers.

10 Sep 2021 - 9:15AM
Opinion | Why China’s dire demographic news signals need to adapt, focus on productivity

What really matters for dealing with an ageing society and a shrinking workforce is to make economic activities more robust. China should also work to build up an attractive living environment to improve people’s quality of life, instead of focusing on quantity.

What really matters for dealing with an ageing society and a shrinking workforce is to make economic activities more robust. China should also work to build up an attractive living environment to improve people’s quality of life, instead of focusing on quantity.

17 May 2021 - 1:13AM
Opinion | China’s anti-poverty playbook should inspire Hong Kong to act

The single-mindedness with which Beijing has pursued its goal to eradicate absolute poverty is worthy of emulation. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are good starting points for Hong Kong to work towards, mapping out local, measurable targets along the way.

The single-mindedness with which Beijing has pursued its goal to eradicate absolute poverty is worthy of emulation. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are good starting points for Hong Kong to work towards, mapping out local, measurable targets along the way.

26 Apr 2021 - 8:45AM
Opinion | China’s population crisis: the country might grow old before it grows rich

While internal migration has boosted development in parts of China, it cannot change the facts of low fertility and population ageing. If the fertility decline cannot be reversed, China must turn to technological innovation and other adaptations, and set a realistic population policy

While internal migration has boosted development in parts of China, it cannot change the facts of low fertility and population ageing. If the fertility decline cannot be reversed, China must turn to technological innovation and other adaptations, and set a realistic population policy

6 Mar 2021 - 4:55AM
Opinion | How Hong Kong, Singapore and other high-income Asian societies can defuse their demographic time bomb

With research findings suggesting that an increase in the marriage rate of women aged 25-29 can significantly raise the total fertility rate, governments should do more to remove barriers for those who want to tie the knot.

With research findings suggesting that an increase in the marriage rate of women aged 25-29 can significantly raise the total fertility rate, governments should do more to remove barriers for those who want to tie the knot.

12 Jan 2021 - 9:40AM
Opinion | Hong Kong students, parents and teachers in dire need of mental health support to prevent tragic outcomes

School-age children are stuck at home, can’t see their friends and are kept busy with schoolwork while parents and teachers face new demands on their time. Schools should understand the challenges online learning pose and show flexibility in their curriculum, schedule and support.

School-age children are stuck at home, can’t see their friends and are kept busy with schoolwork while parents and teachers face new demands on their time. Schools should understand the challenges online learning pose and show flexibility in their curriculum, schedule and support.

5 Jan 2021 - 5:53AM
Opinion | For Hong Kong and the US to escape the low-fertility trap, the old must help the young

The concentration of wealth among the older generation must be shared with the young, who need economic opportunities. Dialogue and generosity are needed to bridge the intergenerational divide.

The concentration of wealth among the older generation must be shared with the young, who need economic opportunities. Dialogue and generosity are needed to bridge the intergenerational divide.

31 Dec 2020 - 4:52AM
Opinion | Hong Kong protests: show arrested youth some mercy, to begin the healing process in society

Greater discretion by police and prosecutors towards those arrested – whether they are under or over 18 – would be a significant step to rebuilding trust and harmony especially as the underlying causes of the unrest remain unaddressed.

Greater discretion by police and prosecutors towards those arrested – whether they are under or over 18 – would be a significant step to rebuilding trust and harmony especially as the underlying causes of the unrest remain unaddressed.

2 Dec 2020 - 9:25AM
Opinion | There’s no shame in asking for help as coronavirus takes its toll on Hongkongers’ mental health

There are fears that Covid-19 is causing a mental health epidemic in the community. Moreover, a culture that sees reaching out to others as a sign of weakness prevents families in need from getting timely help.

There are fears that Covid-19 is causing a mental health epidemic in the community. Moreover, a culture that sees reaching out to others as a sign of weakness prevents families in need from getting timely help.

15 Nov 2020 - 8:49AM
Opinion | How Hong Kong’s suicide prevention efforts can help reduce the global impact of Covid-19 on mental health

Hong Kong has faced many challenges in 2020 and its strong social support networks and resilience learned from Sars can help inform global efforts to better understand the impact of the pandemic on suicide and mental health.

Hong Kong has faced many challenges in 2020 and its strong social support networks and resilience learned from Sars can help inform global efforts to better understand the impact of the pandemic on suicide and mental health.

10 Sep 2020 - 10:13AM
Opinion | Hong Kong, facing an ageing society and brain drain, must act now to retain talent

Hong Kong low fertility rate, declining inward migration and increasing outflow, and ageing society do not bode well for the city’s future. The government must make nurturing and attracting talent a priority.

Hong Kong low fertility rate, declining inward migration and increasing outflow, and ageing society do not bode well for the city’s future. The government must make nurturing and attracting talent a priority.

19 Aug 2020 - 5:45AM
Opinion | How can Hong Kong hope to be a smart city when the government can’t even distribute a HK$10,000 handout effectively?

Over a decade, the government still hasn’t figured out how to target only those living in Hong Kong for budget handouts. The budget failed to address the city’s long-term needs, such as training both young people and the elderly for future employment.

Over a decade, the government still hasn’t figured out how to target only those living in Hong Kong for budget handouts. The budget failed to address the city’s long-term needs, such as training both young people and the elderly for future employment.

4 Mar 2020 - 6:54AM
Opinion | China coronavirus: in a time of quarantine, fear and isolation, Hongkongers need to connect with the disconnected

During Sars, suicides hit a record high, with elderly cases spiking as quarantine measures disrupted social activity. This time, let’s make mental well-being a priority, help those in quarantine stay connected with loved ones and reach out to the old, weak and disconnected.

During Sars, suicides hit a record high, with elderly cases spiking as quarantine measures disrupted social activity. This time, let’s make mental well-being a priority, help those in quarantine stay connected with loved ones and reach out to the old, weak and disconnected.

29 Jan 2020 - 6:32AM
Opinion | Singapore finally recognises that people attempting suicide need mental health support, not punishment

Singapore’s move to decriminalise attempted suicide is welcome, as are moves to give police, doctors and courts new powers on treatment for mental illnesses, recognising that suicide prevention requires a whole-of-society approach.

Singapore’s move to decriminalise attempted suicide is welcome, as are moves to give police, doctors and courts new powers on treatment for mental illnesses, recognising that suicide prevention requires a whole-of-society approach.

16 Jan 2020 - 7:59AM
Opinion | Continuing unrest makes Hong Kong’s poor poorer and helps no one

The absolute number of people in poverty grew in 2018, even though the economy made gains then. The impact of the protests will surely be felt in new poverty figures, as more people lose their jobs.

The absolute number of people in poverty grew in 2018, even though the economy made gains then. The impact of the protests will surely be felt in new poverty figures, as more people lose their jobs.

2 Jan 2020 - 6:30AM
Opinion | The American civil war offers Hong Kong lessons in how to compromise and end conflict

The ending of America’s divisive conflict shows how it took great political courage and wisdom for the victor to offer generous and compassionate terms of surrender, promising peace and no prosecution. There are useful lessons here for Hong Kong’s government.

The ending of America’s divisive conflict shows how it took great political courage and wisdom for the victor to offer generous and compassionate terms of surrender, promising peace and no prosecution. There are useful lessons here for Hong Kong’s government.

23 Nov 2019 - 7:41AM
Opinion | Hong Kong’s spiral of violence needs to end, for the sake of our young people and our future

The two police shootings of teenagers are a wake-up call to stop the violence and protect our young people. Hong Kong has changed irrevocably. The government needs to respond to demand and make fundamental changes or the violence will linger for a long time.

The two police shootings of teenagers are a wake-up call to stop the violence and protect our young people. Hong Kong has changed irrevocably. The government needs to respond to demand and make fundamental changes or the violence will linger for a long time.

10 Oct 2019 - 7:15PM
Opinion | World Suicide Prevention Day is a good time for Hong Kong to come together and move past its protest-filled summer

The World Health Organisation identifies suicide as a serious global health challenge whose signs must be recognised. And for Hong Kong, recent deaths that have been blamed on the local crisis show the need for reconciliation.

The World Health Organisation identifies suicide as a serious global health challenge whose signs must be recognised. And for Hong Kong, recent deaths that have been blamed on the local crisis show the need for reconciliation.

9 Sep 2019 - 3:00PM
Opinion | Hong Kong’s protests will destroy the city we love if opposing sides fail to start a dialogue

The different sides of the dispute are of different generations and values, but both want to make the city better. The lack of compromise and the turn to violence can only escalate, though, ruining the Hong Kong we love

The different sides of the dispute are of different generations and values, but both want to make the city better. The lack of compromise and the turn to violence can only escalate, though, ruining the Hong Kong we love

12 Aug 2019 - 11:14AM
Opinion | We need to bring hope back into the lives of young Hongkongers

Hopelessness has been found to be a major risk factor for suicide. While it’s sad that a few might have been driven to despair by recent events, we must take a cautious approach to those cases for the sake of other vulnerable people.

Hopelessness has been found to be a major risk factor for suicide. While it’s sad that a few might have been driven to despair by recent events, we must take a cautious approach to those cases for the sake of other vulnerable people.

13 Jul 2019 - 3:07PM
Opinion | If extradition protests left you emotionally distressed, here’s how to protect your mental health and your children’s

Overexposure to distressing news, like clashes between protesters and police, can have a big impact on people’s well-being, especially children’s. But we can learn to protect ourselves and recognise signs that we may be at an emotional tipping point.

Overexposure to distressing news, like clashes between protesters and police, can have a big impact on people’s well-being, especially children’s. But we can learn to protect ourselves and recognise signs that we may be at an emotional tipping point.

21 Jun 2019 - 8:37PM
Opinion | China and Hong Kong’s ‘996’ work culture is bad for employees’ mental health, and ultimately bad for employers

Studies show that overwork can have a number of harmful effects on employees that will be reflected in the quality of their work, and that more flexible hours have benefits.

Studies show that overwork can have a number of harmful effects on employees that will be reflected in the quality of their work, and that more flexible hours have benefits.

24 May 2019 - 7:32PM
Opinion | As Hong Kong tops many ‘most expensive’ charts, ordinary Hongkongers struggle to make ends meet

The government must ensure that Hongkongers can thrive in their own city first instead of worrying about attracting foreign talent. Low-income workers, who have not benefited from the city’s economic development, should be the focus.

The government must ensure that Hongkongers can thrive in their own city first instead of worrying about attracting foreign talent. Low-income workers, who have not benefited from the city’s economic development, should be the focus.

27 Apr 2019 - 2:00PM
Opinion | Mainland migrants are needed in Hong Kong. The city should not scrap the one-way permit scheme, but improve it

The criticism directed at the mainland migrants in our midst is based on half-truths and prejudice, and should not be the basis of our policy. The scheme should stay, both for humanistic and practical reasons, but we should address genuine concerns.

The criticism directed at the mainland migrants in our midst is based on half-truths and prejudice, and should not be the basis of our policy. The scheme should stay, both for humanistic and practical reasons, but we should address genuine concerns.

6 Apr 2019 - 7:32AM