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This page is updated on 2006-07-27 12:04
Christian Service News
Issue 40 (July 2003)
Index of This Issue
Survey Report
Crisis Intervention Helps Develop Youths
to Better Deal with Adversity

In order to gain a better understanding on how students might have felt and responded to SARS, HKCS launched a survey when classes resumed after the 'Atypical vacation'. Questionnaires were sent to 22 schools. A total of 920 students from Form 1 to Form 4 and from Form 6 had responded. Among them, 84% students were from schools that had no reported infected case ("Uninfected") while the remaining 16% were from those who had "Infected". The outcome showed that there were significant differences between students from the two categories.

Firstly, students suffered from symptoms of stress, such as headache, lower back pain, poor appetite, mood swing, insomnia, fear and depression, was seen to be relatively low among the "Infected" group. Secondly, it was noted that having to face the SARS crisis had actually enhanced the relationship between students and teachers. Rather than feeling concerned if SARS would negatively affect the relationship between fellow students or between students and teachers, students from the "Infected" group claimed that both teachers and students became more cooperative and considerate than they used to be before the SARS epidemic. Finally, students from the "Infected" group were more ready to express their fears and anxiety to others, a difference of 11% higher, than those in the "Uninffected" group. Besides, their willingness to seek help was very strong. Among 93%, who had received some degree of counseling, expressed that they were effectively helped to deal with their feelings. Up to 71% of those students, however, preferred to express their emotions to their schoolmates.

The service supervisor of HKCS School Social Work Service, Ms Alice Ling, encourages professionals from the educational field, as well as youth workers, to utilize such experience of SARS to train up young people correct ways and attitudes in dealing with crisis and adversities, to strengthen human relationships and to model to them the responsibilities of being a citizen. The results of the survey point us toward a promising direction and show us that young people possess such potential to acquire all the right qualities in crisis intervention. Furthermore, it also shows us that 'schoolmates' are a group of crucial supportive system in times of crisis. These areas are indeed worthwhile to be explored and developed.

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