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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