CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Survey shows more concern needed for mental health

HONG KONG (SE): A report, released by the School of Public Health under the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong on July 11, showed that the number of people suffering from depression has increased in June and July when various incidents related to the now-suspended extradition bill happened. The team urged people to pay more attention to their mental wellbeing and avoid unnecessary conflicts with family or friends.
The study, which aims to follow up the mental health of people after different crisis over a period of 10 years, showed that the rate of people of different ages suffering from depression has increased. In a survey of over 1,000 people in the last two months, 9.1 per cent said they may have suffered from depression. During the period of Occupy Central in 2014, the percentage was 5.3. 
The team reminded those who may be feeling depressed not to dwell on the news or the views posted on social media network. It also pointed out that more social support and avoiding conflicts within families and communities can improve one’s mental health.
Kenneth Pang Che-chung, a Catholic social worker who offered counselling services to people in the protest area outside the Legislative Council Building for three days in the middle of June, told the Kung Kao Po on July 12 that young people are increasingly unhappy about various social problems in Hong Kong and the recent conflicts over the extradition bill have triggered their emotions. 
As a counsellor in the protest area, he hoped to help them feel the concern of society. He also encouraged Catholics who feel depressed to surrender their problems to God. 
Pang said his three-day service focused on young people who were protesting alone. He said some feel lonely because their family do not listen to their problems. There is also a big distance between the thoughts of young people and that of the government as well as adults.
Pang said faith has a calming effect during protests as protestors are encouraged to stay peaceful and sing hymns to express their feelings and unburden their minds.
A prayer service and a sharing session organised by parish concern groups of the Church is scheduled on July 28 at St. Vincent’s parish, Wong Tai Sin, when people who are feeling emotionally-disturbed to express their feelings. Discussions will be led by Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing and a clinical psychologist.

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