Half of all secondary students stressed out: survey

The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups said on Tuesday that a survey it carried out suggests one in two secondary school pupils feel stressed out, and around the same proportion report having symptoms of depression.

The federation said the findings come from online questionnaires given to 3,600 students in October.

It said 49 percent reported suffering from high levels of stress, adding that while this is four percentage points lower than the result of a similar survey last year, it is still higher than before the pandemic started.

Meanwhile, 52 percent of the pupils reported depression symptoms, such as concentration problems and issues with sleeping, the federation said.

Deputy executive director Hsu Siu-man said although these students may not actually have depression, the situation is still worrying.

She said the pupils’ stress is mainly related to academic issues, but some are also struggling to adjust to full-day in-person classes once again, after the pandemic earlier forced some lessons online.

“Some tell us that they do not have enough rest time, because when they go home, it is already evening. Although this kind of situation is quite similar to that before the pandemic, they have spent already nearly two years [having] online classes or in hybrid mode… When they resume back to ‘old normal’ they have to spend their whole day at school, they need to adjust,” she said.

Hsu also said students were having to adjust to a wave of emigration from Hong Kong, with some losing their friends.

“When they went back to school, many students found that quite a lot of classmates had disappeared… they have moved with the whole family to other countries,” she said.