Hong Kong: "One-school-one nurse" policy could prevent suicides

Sept 21, 2017, Hong Kong Economic Journal: Why one-school-one-nurse policy is necessary According to the third report published earlier this year by the Review Panel of the Pilot Project on Child Fatality Review, between 2012 and 2013, a total of 206 child deaths were reported to the Coroner’s Court. And among the 75 deaths by unnatural causes, 20 of them were caused by suicides, with the youngest victim aged only 11. Among these 20 suicide cases, 14 victims had shown suicidal signs such as emotional volatility and violent behavior before they ended their own lives. The report concluded that many of these victims could actually have been prevented from killing themselves if their teachers or parents had been able to recognize their emotional problems sooner and seek professional help immediately. … For example, over the years I have been calling upon the government to implement the so-called one-school-one-nurse policy in our schools, under which there would be at least one registered psychiatric nurse (RPN) stationed in every primary and secondary school across our city. The RPN in our schools would assume a leading role in identifying high-risk cases and providing professional assessment and support. And if necessary, the RPN can also refer students who need help to public mental health clinics run by the Hospital Authority (HA). Once teachers or parents have noticed any warning sign of suicide among students, they can immediately refer the case to the RPN in their schools, who can then intervene with them as soon as possible and provide proper and timely help before tragedy strikes.