Introduction and statistics
Hong Kong’s suicide rate is currently ranked 32nd in the world, with roughly 12 deaths per 100,000 people in year 2017. According to DW News, “In February this year , 5 secondary school students took their lives in the course of just 17 days. 2 others were rescued from attempted suicides.”
According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong government's quarantine facility, Penny’s Bay, is like a “concentration camp”. 4 suicide attempts within a 24-hour period were reported in Penny’s Bay in March.
This figure shows that the index went above crisis level for the very first time since 2020, indicating the impact of Hong Kong’s 5th wave.
Recent suicidal cases
18th May, 2022
Two young girls aged 16 and 14 wearing their school uniforms fell from a building in Shau Kei Wan. Both from St. Paul’s Secondary School, they were reported to be troubled by emotional problems. Suicide notes have not been found yet, and according to the scene, the two were in a relationship, and one of them had been talking to a social worker about her grievances within the relationship.
18th May, 2022
A police received a report from a person at an estate from Tai Wan, who suspected that their family member, 53 years old, was locked in the toilet and fainted. When the police arrived, they found a body on the bathroom floor, with a plate of burnt charcoal next to him. The police classified this as a suicidal case.
14th May, 2022
A citizen reported that his 29-year-old male relative fainted in the bathroom of a unit at Ma On Shan. The police arrived at the scene to investigate and found that the man was dead, and there was a plate of extinguished charcoal next to the body. The police found a suicide note.
11th May, 2022
A person called the police for help when he found a man hanging himself on a tree. However, when the firefighters and ambulance arrived, the person was already out of breath and passed away. The police did find a suicide note, and reports said that he was troubled by financial issues before his death.
10th May, 2022
An 84 year old man fell into the sea at Wai Yip Street near Kwun Tong Pier. Rescue personnel arrived at the scene, and the victim was rescued by firefighters and returned to the shore. However, he was in a coma at the time and was immediately handed over to an ambulance to be taken to hospital for treatment, where he was later confirmed dead. The police did not see a suicide note at the scene, and searched the "Sky Eye" clip of the pier to investigate the cause of the victim's fall into the sea. According to on-site information, the victim had a bag with heavy objects tied to his body at the time of the incident, and walked slowly to the pick-up and drop-off position at the pier and jumped down. The staff witnessed the process from CCTV and immediately called the police for help.
March 25, 2021 (Suicide attempt)
A security guard attempted to jump from a rooftop, and was rescued by police and firefighters. According to sources, the police originally left the scene when the man claimed he was just “getting some fresh air”. However, his colleagues called again half an hour later when they realized he was sitting on the edge of the building with his back facing outwards. The man returned to safety after emergency services arrived.
Suicidal deaths are happening almost every single day in Hong Kong. Jumping seems to be the most common way of committing suicide, with researchers suggesting that it is due to the concrete jungle of Hong Kong.
People suffering from suicidal thoughts are all around you. We hope that this post helped gain understanding and perspective of what’s happening around you.
https://suicideearlywarning.hku.hk/eng/newsarchive/ offers daily updates on suicidal cases. Stay updated to remind yourself to be empathetic towards other people, and give them the benefit of doubt whenever necessary.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention