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Three out of 10 Hong Kong individuals have experienced some kind of mental health issue at some point in their lifetime.
And, an even more alarming figure, is that two out of five have experienced suicidal thoughts – a disturbingly high number that will undoubtedly cause human resource practitioners to sit up and take notice when considering their duty of care to an organisation’s employees.
These are two of the telling findings from the latest YouGov snapshot of mental health in the city, which quizzed 816 citizens.
While a third of those quizzed “rarely” have suicidal thoughts, 8% have them frequently. Women are more likely to have them than men (47% versus 33%), while younger Hongkongers (aged 18 to 24) are likely to experience them more than older Hongkongers aged 55 and above (59% versus 26%).
The most commonly cited mental health issues are depression (61%) and anxiety (50%). However, only 51% of those with mental health issues seek professional help. In a somewhat surprising finding, men are more likely to seek help than women (54% versus 48%).
“Many people with mental health issues suffer in silence, as seen by the significant amount of people who choose not to seek help. What is surprising is the significant amount of Hongkongers who have struggled with their mental health. We hope this survey sheds light on the topic of mental health and how it affects people differently,” said Jake Gammon, head of the YouGov Omnibus APAC division.
Overwhelmingly, Hong Kong people consider mental health a serious issue. A total of 92% believe that mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health.
While 87% agree that mental health should be covered by insurance, nine out of 10 think that employees should be entitled to medical leave for mental health issues.
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