Connect Vulnerable Youths by Activating their Social Networks
In light of the startling number of student suicide cases in Hong Kong recently, the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of the University of Hong Kong (CSRP) is launching an innovative outreaching approach to connect the vulnerable youth via the power of social media. Popular YouTubers are the core and initial influencers of this project.
Suicide has been the leading cause of death for youth in Hong Kong for decades. As revealed in suicide notes, suicide adolescents had been bearing plenty of hidden sufferings. Among the distressed youth that were interviewed in a survey, only 7% sought formal help from social service while 78.9% had disclosed their distress online. Therefore we believe that social media is a promising channel to effectively and efficiently reach out and connect the vulnerable youngsters.
YouTube is selected to be the project platform, as a majority of Hong Kong young people are YouTube users. Some popular YouTubers have kindly expressed their willingness in contributing to suicide prevention, which laid a foundation for our collaboration. In addition, these YouTubers are also influential in other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This allows us to extend the project’s impact across various social media.
In this project, CSRP’s suicide prevention professionals will engage some influential YouTubers with positive public image to be our core collaborators. We will work together to:
- Initiate activities that aim to promote suicide prevention and help-seeking. These activities can be launched online or in the community
- Reach out to online youth with suicide risk and encourage them to seek help
- Refer high-risk cases to professionals for follow-up care and support
- Recruit and engage online users who are not at risk and willing to contribute to suicide prevention to join in our cause. In this way, we aim to continuously extend our partnership network
All popular YouTubers and partners who participate in the project will be requested to attend suicide prevention training workshops delivered by CSRP. The training will empower them to properly address suicide issues and respond to suicide-related online comments.
Other than various social media-based online activities, we will also anchor with school and community initiatives, aiming at activating the social network diffusion effect to reach broader young population.
鑑於近年香港學生自殺個案趨升，香港大學香港賽馬會防止自殺研究中心 (CSRP) 正推行一個嶄新的外展計劃，透過社交媒體的力量去連繫有情緒困擾的青少年。這個計劃會由幾位受歡迎的香港YouTubers為先驅，與我們組成預防自殺的合作網絡。
除諸多基於網絡社交媒體的活動之外，我們亦會與學校和社區團體合作，期望這個以社交媒體為軸心的外展計劃可以激活社會網絡滲透效應 (social network diffusion effect)去廣泛地接觸青年人。
Last update : September 19, 2017