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Universities in Hong Kong

Campuses play a vital role in helping youngsters cultivate mental resilience

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 September, 2018, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 September, 2018, 2:01pm

I am writing in response to the article “Chinese University of Hong Kong introduces two new courses to help youngsters overcome adversity in wake of recent student deaths” (September 3).

University is a challenging time for students. Research into mental health shows that, among undergraduate university students in Hong Kong, around half experience symptoms of anxiety and a third experience depression.

Chinese University’s action is in response to recent student suicides on campus, and they have taken responsible steps to advance mental health care by adding training sessions, counsellors, a support hotline, as well as two optional courses focused on mental well-being. These are positive first steps and should be celebrated.

We truly hope that this is the first of many mental health initiatives that are implemented across the city.

One in three young Hongkongers suffering from mental health issues

As the new academic year commences, we must prioritise mental health to ensure students are aware of – and have – available resources at their disposal. Mind HK suggests that all universities evaluate what affects their students’ mental well-being in the first place, such as mounting workloads, isolation, social expectations, extensive study hours and poor physical activity and nutrition, to decipher what changes to implement.

Mental health advocacy needs to be a much larger, long-term initiative across all tertiary education institutions. Let’s make mental health support standard in Hong Kong.

Hannah Reidy, CEO, Mind HK