Mental Health Matters: Protect children's well-being in Hong Kong

This report is a component of a larger research initiative by Save the Children Hong Kong, assessing the changing dynamics of Hong Kong children’s most significant needs for support. The report examines the current mental health needs for children in Hong Kong and aims to provide a summary of the best available research and insights from experts and community actors. Key findings of the report include:

  1. As much as 39% of all primary and secondary students in Hong Kong may have developed symptoms of mental health disorders following a period of political and social turmoil
  2. The social and political turmoil, as well as the pandemic has compounded existing mental health problems and stresses, both on children and families as well as public mental health services
  3. This year, thousands more children may need clinical psychiatric services compared to last year, but on account of low mental health awareness, low trust in public service providers, and high stigmatization, very few will actively seek or be referred to mental health care
  4. In the past year, the median wait time for a child in Hong Kong to receive mental health care reached as high as 113 weeks in some areas of Hong Kong
  5. 35% of school-aged children in our survey described their home environment as tense or fearful during the school suspension
  6. 23% of surveyed children felt more sad, 46% felt more worried, 27% felt less hopeful

The report recommends to:

  1. Improve community awareness of mental health and attitudes towards seeking mental health care
  2. Improve the capacity to provide basic mental health services from the community level and find ways to reach children in need who aren’t seeking help
  3. Reduce children’s academic and family pressure
  4. Help children manage screen-time in a healthy way
Published 2020-10-05