Macau liaison office head’s death shows depression still isn’t taken seriously enough

    PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 4:35am
    UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 4:34am

    I am writing to express my views on the death of Zheng Xiaosong, the head of the Chinese government’s liaison office in Macau (“Head of Chinese government’s liaison office in Macau dies in fall from home”, October 21).

    On Sunday, Beijing officials announced that Mr Zheng died in a fall from his home “because he suffered from depression”. On the day of his death, Mr Zheng had met representatives of a think tank at his office. Macau’s chief executive and other officials expressed shock at the news, indicating that they did not realise that Mr Zheng seemed depressed.

    Mr Zheng’s death sheds light on how pervasive depression is even among people that seem to be functioning normally. Depression is a mental illness that places sufferers under long-term stress.

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    They usually feel helpless, stressed, pessimistic or tired of the lives they are leading. Many celebrities have ended their lives because of depression – Marilyn Monroe, Vincent van Gogh, Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing. Some of them died at a very young age.

    However, it is possible to battle depression by seeking medical help. While, in her recent policy address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor allocated a great deal of money to various areas, it would be worthwhile to spend some resources on people who are grappling with depression and other mental health issues.

    Stephanie Yung, Tseung Kwan O

    If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255. For a list of other nations’ helplines, see this page