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致傳媒同仁的一封信

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致各位傳媒同仁,

  最近發生多宗自殺個案,如本星期初的年輕夫婦雙亡案,學生自殺案及今天剛發生於擎天半島的青年墮樓案,我們深感擔憂,估測貴報明日或會刊出詳細報導,特發此信謹作溫馨提醒。

  我們理解傳媒或許認為事件有新聞價值,需要報導。但懇請注意,在自殺悲劇面前,每位家人都是傷心人,請傳媒本著同理心與人道主義精神,勿要過分渲染事件。建議傳媒從預防角度多做報導,更多呼籲身處困境的人士尋求並接受專業的幫助。

  時值剛剛開學,近日已有數宗學生自殺。許多研究亦證實過度聳動及煽情的報導可引致傳染效應。為免造成模仿效應,請傳媒避免將此新聞擺在頭版或網站的顯著位置,避免刊登動畫、視頻、或圖片去呈現自殺細節。讓我們都行多一步,保護我們的社區。

  我們理解社會上很多人關心自殺的問題,亦尊重傳媒的報導自由,謹在報導方式方面與閣下商討。我們了解到自殺的新聞會令高危者感覺自殺是一種解決問題的方法,這種認知極需我們去糾正。有鑑於此,我們懇請各位傳媒朋友能再多貢獻一點力量,例如:

  1. 避免以顯著、聳動的方式報導自殺新聞,避免刊於頭版或網站的顯著位置,亦避免使用特大字體標題;
  2. 避免簡化自殺原因,避免將自殺與某些困境(如學業壓力、身體疾病等)之間建立刻板關聯,以免更多人用死來應對自己的困境;
  3. 避免美化自殺死者,相反地,更多鼓勵別人去求助,求助才是勇敢地面對困難。亦都可以鼓勵民眾,如留意到有人有自殺意圖,可以主動帶領對方求助。
  4. 報導自殺新聞時請盡量避免報導自殺者姓名、身分、年齡等個人信息,以免對自殺死者家屬造成困擾。通常自殺死者家屬亦都處於較高的自殺風險,我們需格外關注他們的精神狀況。

  我們呼籲閣下及其他傳媒同仁與我們一起,保持同理心,積極地為預防自殺出力,防止悲劇發生。感謝您對此事的關注,我們很樂意在報導自殺案件上有更多的討論和合作,如需進一步之資料,請不吝與我們聯繫。

葉兆輝
香港大學香港賽馬會防止自殺研究中心總監

Introducing Well-being in Hong Kong

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The HKJC Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention (CSRP) is pleased to introduce a new website, Well-being in Hong Kong, which aims to be a platform for research, opinion, and guidance on how to make communities healthier and happier. 

Well-being in Hong Kong aims to engage stakeholders on a number of levels. On a policy level, it will highlight relevant academic literature on mental health and well-being from Hong Kong and internationally. In doing so, it aims to facilitate debate and discussion about how the conditions for well-being can be realised, and encourage knowledge exchange between academics and policymakers. 

The website also aims to engage with stakeholders on a more individual level, recognising that social change depends on personal change. It will offer well-being tips from the CSRP, and provide surveys and tools that can be used at home and in educational settings. We are also inviting the wider community to share their experiences and impressions of well-being through the Journey of Mind section. 

For the launch, the website features several articles exploring issues as diverse as youth withdrawal and isolation, workplace injuries, and social support for those out of work. In the near future, we’re planning to discuss well-being in education, and how schools and colleges are taking steps to ward off stress and to strengthen the resilience of young people. 

Uniting all of these issues are the underlying questions of what well-being is, and how we can prioritise and promote well-being in our communities and society. And to help us all avoid becoming too stressed by the challenges that lie ahead, we’re also launching with a ‘well-being bite’ exploring the subject of gratitude, and inviting website visitors to take a survey to see if they are taking enough time to appreciate the things that we can already be grateful for. 

Above all, the website aims to engage and interact the broader community. The CSRP is therefore inviting contributions and comments from all those that want to make Hong Kong, and the wider world, a happier place to live. We’re also looking for designers and creative people to participate in our logo competition, with a number of prizes for winning entries. So please visit the website, take a look at the features and reach out to us via the comments, Journey of Mind, or Contact section. 

回應有關自我傷害的事件:多點同理心少點批判

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近日網路上廣傳有關青少年自我傷害的照片,引起不少人作出負面的評論。身體髮膚,受之父母,要愛惜自己的身體是我們從小就學習到的事。無可否認,自我傷害的行為令人痛心又不安。有人回應事件時指出自我傷害行為被當成「表演」、「英雄主義」、「扭曲價值觀」等行為,又指當事人「覺得做法好型」。然而,相信在網路上發言的絕大部分人都不清楚當事人的真正想法和感受。我們聽到的批判聲音很多,但真正理解的實在很少。

研究指出,一個有自我傷害行為的人背後極可能面對著不同的挑戰。例如正在經歷多種的負面情緒 (Hasking et al., 2008),缺乏社交支援及人際關係不理想 (Toprak et al., 2011),而自殺的風險亦比一般人高 (Nock et al., 2006)。美國則有學者指出,大部分有自我傷害行為的青少年人在童年時曾經歷過情感虐待或家庭暴力 (Brodsky, Cloitre, & Dulit, 1995; Perry, & Herman, 1991)。自我傷害行為在青少年中頗為常見。在心理學的角度,自我傷害行為被視為宣洩或逃避負面情緒的一種方法。

換個角度想,青少年人將有關自我傷害的照片上載到社交網站的目的,也許是沉默的吶喊,也許是求救的訊號 (a call for help),也許是希望得到一份關心及一個問候。自我傷害固然不是大家希望看到的事情,我們亦不知道在自我傷害背後有多少故事及眼淚。無情的指責和批評非但不能制止當事人的自我傷害行為,反而可能令其受到更大打擊,感受到更多社會孤立(social isolation),令其自我傷害乃至自殺的風險加劇。倘若希望糾正自我傷害行為,何不多走一步,問一下當事人遭遇了什麼困難,用心理解對方的經歷和情緒,幫他/她將困難用言語,而非自我傷害的方法表達出來。一句譏諷,或許成為壓死駱駝的最後一根稻草;一句問侯,卻或許可以挽救一條生命。預防自殺,傳遞關愛,你我也可出一點力。 #WeCare #與你同行

Reference

Brodsky, B. S., Cloitre, M., & Dulit, R. A. (1995). Relationship of Dissociation to Self-Mutilation and Childhood Abuse in Borderline Personality Disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 152(12), 1788-1792

Hasking H., Momeni R., Swannell S., & Chia S. (2008). The nature and extent of non-suicidal self-injury in a non-clinical sample of young adults. Archives of Suicide Research, 12, 208-218

Nock M., Joiner T., Gordon K., Lloyd-Richardson E., and Prinstein M. (2006). Non-suicidal self-injury: diagnostic correlates and relation to suicide attempts. Psychiatry Research, 144, 65-72

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CSRP Responding to No-Suicide Contract 有關「不自殺契約」的爭議

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有關「不自殺契約」的爭議

近日大家都為到網路上廣傳的「不自殺契約」而議論紛紛,質疑其成效及可靠性。就有關議論,不少心理學家已發表回應,指出「不自殺契約」實為輔導工具,當求助者透露自己有自殺念頭時,由輔導員或心理學家決定是否適合使用,而在一般情況下不會廣泛派發給學生。

「不自殺契約」於七十年代由精神科醫生及心理學家設計。當時「不自殺契約」被視為防止自殺的慣例,因此大部分的精神科醫護人員及心理學家於受訓時均會學習到如何運用此工具。然而,在二千年代有大量學術研究指出「不自殺契約」不一定能有效防止自殺。

英國預防自殺的學者Tony White指出,前線的輔導專家在使用「不自殺契約」的同時,必須明白契約背後的理論才能發揮其功效(White, 2011)。「不自殺契約」不單止是一份文件,在使用此契約時,專家應與求助者共同討論有關個人責任 (Concept of personal responsibility)、契約的意義 (Theory of contracts)及早期決定的理論 (Theory of early decisions)。契約本身能否有效減低自殺的機率雖然具爭議性,可貴的是在輔導及簽訂契約的過程中,前線輔導人員與求助者同行並讓其感受到被關懷。假若沒有關愛,契約也只不過是一份冷冰冰的文件。

近半年所發生的學生輕生事件實在令人痛心疾首。雖然不一定每人都能為預防自殺走到最前線,但培養關愛氣氛,關心身邊的親友,絕對是你我也能做得到的事。如欲獲得更多資訊,請瀏覽本中心 #與你同行 #WeCare網頁。

*White, T. (2011). Working with suicidal individuals: A guide to providing understanding, assessment and support