Hailey + Vincent
tw/ mention of suicide + abuse
Brief overview of main factors affecting mental health in HK
A high-tempo, action-packed and densely populated city, HK is ranked the fifth most stressed in the whole world by Cigna. A study conducted by CUHK has revealed the mental health of the HK population is deteriorating. In 2019, the average score of 1,009 surveyed residents was beneath the 52-point pass mark - 44.6 points - indicating poor mental wellbeing.
What are the main factors that influence mental health in HK?
Work culture: one of the most overworked cities, HK has one of the longest working hours in the world, and workers are frequently forced to work overtime. A tense and stressful workplace atmosphere can also contribute to deteriorating mental health
Social Stigmatization: mental health is not so frequently discussed in Hong Kong; those who are suffering are often discriminated against. A Mind HK study, done in collaboration with HKU and KCL, revealed that approximately 40% - nearly half - of the population are unwilling to live in close proximity to those who have are suffering from mental health conditions
Socioeconomic Inequality: many in HK are extremely poor, such as those who are forced to live in subdivided flats. For example, a lack of being able to provide for the family may impact feelings of self-worth and perhaps cause one to feel “useless”
What impact does the coronavirus pandemic have on mental health?
As a result of rapidly increasing cases, social contact has drastically decreased for many and the government has had to implement severe and strict restrictions.
The pandemic has had a multitude of effects on the HK population, including:
Decreasing job security, amplifying the financial struggles and woes faced by many people in HK
Forcing those who already had low income to stay home
Increasing stress factors in students' lives, such as decreased social interaction and increased uncertainty
Furthermore, a lack of control, especially over testing and compulsory isolation orders (especially in unfamiliar environments), have exacerbated feelings of anxiety and fear, e.g. quarantine orders may result in a separation from family. According to the SCMP, in March, within a 27 hour period, there were four attempts of suicide at HK’s quarantine centers
Domestic workers are also particularly at risk in the current situation; after testing positive for COVID-19, quite a few have faced discrimination and abuse - for example, some are now homeless and jobless, just because they tested positive