Nearly 40 per cent of young people in Hong Kong have had suicidal thoughts due to stress from studies, social life and employment, according to a new report by the Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong.

The organisation, an NGO focusing on suicide prevention, said it received 1,438 suicide-related calls for help last year, a 9.7 per cent rise on the 2013 figure. A total of 360 callers were aged 10-29.

In Hong Kong 114 people in this age group committed suicide in 2014 according to the report, which cited Coroner’s Court statistics.

Researchers interviewed 270 people aged 11-30 in June and found 38.9 per cent thought about committing suicide due to stress. Almost two-thirds said the stress came from studies and interpersonal relations, while 40 per cent said they were stressed about employment.

Over half of the surveyed said they were often unwilling to communicate with other people when experiencing negative emotions.

Another report by the organisation released in June revealed Hong Kong had a suicide rate of 13.86 people per 100,000 in 2014.

Angela Tsoi, head of the Life Education Centre at the Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong, urged the government to allocate more resources to suicide prevention and the promotion of mental health.

Tsoi also said parents should pay more attention to their own emotional health, which can affect the wellbeing of their children.

“Some parents were crying when they learnt about the results of the secondary school allocation. This kind of behaviour will definitely have a negative impact on the kids,” Tsoi said.

If you are experiencing negative feelings please call the Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong on 23892222.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.