Politics, social divide worsening helplessness, NGO says

Local | 4 Jul 2019 12:21 pm

A prominent counselling service in Hong Kong said today that it has seen a jump in the number of people reaching out to it because they are troubled by the ongoing political strife, RTHK reports. 
The executive director of Samaritan Befrienders, Clarence Tsang, said they had received 42 requests since June 9 for help linked to the now-suspended extradition bill. 
That is about 30 cases more than the average number of requests they receive each month in relation to social issues, he added. 
Speaking on an RTHK program, Tsang said the Samaritan Befrienders had also visited protest sites near the Legislative Council and found two dozen people who needed special help. 
Most of them felt upset about the social divide, as well as conflicts with family and friends who hold different views from them. Others said they felt helpless in the face of what’s happening in society. 
Tsang said it’s important for others to listen to them and show them there is always a way out. 
He also warned against a copycat effect when suicide cases circulate in the media and on social media platforms, saying people have to be careful when they discuss the issue.
A chief clinical psychologist from the Social Welfare Department on Wednesday had also warned that the current crisis is making some people desperate as they think they don't have any solutions. 
The department is running a 24-hour hotline at 2343 2255 for those who need help.

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