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Government sets up committee on prevention of student suicides

     The Government today (March 30) announced the establishment of the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides to thoroughly examine the causes of the issue and make recommendations on appropriate preventive measures having regard to recent incidents of student suicide.

     A spokesman for the Education Bureau (EDB) said the Committee would start by analysing each student suicide case that occurred in recent years as the basis of making recommendations on preventive measures. In addition, the Committee would discuss a wide spectrum of preventive measures including the mechanism and procedures to identify students with suicidal risk, cross-sector communication and collaboration, support services for mental wellness, life education and guidance programmes, parent education and media reporting.

     The spokesman said, "We are deeply concerned about student suicides, and will mobilise the whole community and promote cross-sector collaboration to prevent further tragedy by devising effective measures to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors."

     The Chairperson of the Committee is Professor Paul Yip, the Director of the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong. Members of the Committee comprise school, parent, youth and student representatives; professionals (including those from the healthcare and social welfare sectors); and officials of different government bureaux and departments.

     The spokesman expressed thanks to the members for accepting their appointment, which realises cross-sector and whole community participation and support to address student suicides, an issue of public concern.

     The spokesman added, "The Government wishes to listen to the views of different parties, and is especially anxious to know how university students perceive the issue and what suggestions they offer."

     As the Chief Executive said after the District Council Election last year, the Government is keen to engage dedicated people of the right calibre, regardless of their political views. As long as young people are willing to contribute, the Government will heed their opinions through the work of different advisory bodies.

     Through this appointment, the Government hopes to enhance its exchanges and communications with students of various institutions on different issues, such as the social development of Hong Kong and the work of the Government.

     A briefing was organised for members of the Committee this morning to familiarise them with the objectives of and tasks to be accomplished by the Committee. The Committee will convene formal working meetings starting next month and submit a report to the Secretary for Education in six months. If necessary, the Committee will submit an interim report in three months. The terms of reference of the Committee are:

1. To study the possible causes of student suicides through case analysis;
2. To formulate responsive measures if the causes identified are related to the inadequacy of work on the education front and/or in other areas; and
3. To propose to the Secretary for Education short-term, mid-term and long-term measures to prevent student suicides at primary, secondary and tertiary education levels.

     The membership list of the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides is as follows:

Professor Paul Yip Siu-fai (Professor of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong and Director of the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong)

Mrs Michelle Wong Yau Wai-ching (Deputy Secretary for Education)

Mr Lam Yat-fung (Chairman of the Hong Kong Subsidized Secondary Schools Council)
Ms Li Suet-ying (Chairperson of the Hong Kong Association of the Heads of Secondary Schools)
Mr Sin Kim-wai (Chairman of the Subsidized Primary Schools Council)
Mr Lai Chi-man (Chairman of the Hong Kong Aided Primary School Heads Association)
Ms Christine Choi Yuk-lin (Vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers)
Professor Alvin Leung Seung-ming (Dean of Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Mr Joseph Tsang Chi-to (Chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters)
Mr Lau Ming-wai (Chairman of the Commission on Youth)
Ms Suen Hiu-nam (President of the Hong Kong University Students' Union)
Mr Henry Tong Sau-chai (Chairman of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation)
Dr Tik Chi-yuen (Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Family Education)
Dr Hung Se-fong (Honorary Consultant (Psychiatry) of Kwai Chung Hospital)
Dr Cheryl So Yuk-chi (Senior Clinical Psychologist of Kwai Chung Hospital)
Ms So Yim-fong (Supervisor of the School Social Work Office of the Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association)
Ms Hsu Siu-man (Supervisor of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups)
Representative of the Food and Health Bureau
Representative of the Labour and Welfare Bureau
Representative of the Home Affairs Bureau

Mrs Katherine Yuen (Chief Officer (Special Duty), Education Bureau)

Ends/Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:19


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