A professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Education of the private University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has revealed that according to the Catholic university’s recent research, 40% of its respondents suffer from different levels of depression, adding that 10% of them said that they had had suicidal thoughts.
A professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Education of the private University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has revealed that according to the Catholic university’s recent research, 40 per cent of its respondents suffer from different levels of depression, adding that 10 per cent of them said that they had had suicidal thoughts.
Prof Kuok Chin Him made the remarks at a press conference on the finding of the “Depression Screening Among Macao Citizens” survey at the USJ hall on Friday.
Kuok said that the research was coordinated with the Mental Health Association of Hong Kong and Caritas Macau.
Kuok noted that depression was the second leading contributor to the nation’s “burden of disease”.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “burden of disease” is a concept to describe “death and loss of health due to diseases, injuries and risk factors for all regions of the world”.
Kuok said he predicts that in 2023, depression will be the number-one leading reason for the world’s burden of disease.
Therefore, Kuok said, he conducted the research study last year to survey and analyse the situation of clinical depression in Macao. According to Kuok, his team surveyed 931 local people, 466 of whose responses were used for analysis.
Kuok said that according to his research, 60 per cent of the respondents do not suffer from depression or only suffer from a low level of depression, 20 per cent suffer from mild depression, and 2 per cent suffer from extreme depression. He stressed that 1 per cent of the respondents said they had had suicidal thoughts. The main cause of the respondents’ depression was mainly due to family, work or financial reasons.
Kuok said that compared to overseas or neighbouring countries and regions’ statistics, Macao’s situation was not “too serious” but people should not overlook the seriousness of depression. He pointed out that according to his research 60 per cent of the respondents did not seek professional help when they felt depressed, adding that over 50 per cent of them did not know how to find professional help. Kuok said he believed the general public needed to learn more about depression.
Kuok also said that if someone loses interest in their hobbies, often feels fatigued, or has extreme weight changes over two weeks, he or she should seek professional help.
According to a statement by the Health Bureau (SSM) earlier this month, psychological support is available at bureau health centres in the areas of Tap Seac, Fai Chi Kei, Areia Preta, Ocean Gardens and Our Lady of Carmo-Lago.
Addresses and telephone numbers for all centres can be found on the SSM website under the Contact Us tab.
Kuok said he estimated that the number of people in Macao becoming depressed would increase after the COVID-19 pandemic, but he also said the number might decrease due to more time spent with family, which could help with depression.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © University of Saint Joseph (USJ)