Throughout history, whenever a need arises, the people who take action are the ones who transform the world. Instead of idly standing by, they decide to do something. Their actions, often times, stem from a conviction or a burden. They count the cost and take steps of faith in order to make a difference. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
The challenge that people from HMCC of Hong Kong faced was the suicide crisis on university campuses. Within a short period of time, news of students committing suicide became a frequent occurrence in HK. As the number of suicides began to rise, we realized that something was happening and we needed to do something about it. Therefore, with our limited resources, we decided to bring awareness and spread hope by letting students know that they matter. It was a small gesture, but it had a big impact on people’s lives.
We began to meet people and hear their stories. Some people personally knew those who passed away. As our hearts began to break, we asked God to show us what our next steps should be. This is when a South China Morning Post article brought greater clarity to the suicide crisis in HK. We know that the problem has many factors, therefore, even topics such as mental health must be considered. But for now, we are going to continue to bring awareness and link up with other organizations that are involved in suicide prevention.
As we move forward, we are praying for wisdom and God’s favor to open up doors of opportunity to bring the message of hope and love to every student on the university campuses of HK. We are going to do this by 3 specific steps: Be aware. Act. Advocate.
- Be AWARE. There are close to 100,000 students in the 8 major universities here in HK. We want to bring awareness of the realities of suicide to 100% of the university students. We are hoping that we can engage every incoming 1st year student with the message that they matter and that they are not defined by their grades, situation or brokenness.
- ACT. Our desire to bring awareness is just the first step. We want to then provide various avenues for students to take action. We are hoping that we can network with other organizations that provide professional counseling and other resources. We want to equip the students with various classes to learn life skills, which will prepare them for difficulties in life. We want to also provide various community/support groups for the students. This can provide the needed relationships and mentorship to help guide the students with encouragement and hope.
- ADVOCATE. We want to also empower the students and university staff to help spread hope to others around them. If students can take the responsibility of helping one another, then we believe a difference can be made. There are many barriers that hinder those who struggle with suicidal thoughts from seeking help; therefore, when students are committed to helping each other, relational connections can be made and support can come from their peers.
So much of what is going on can seem so daunting, but we are confident that for such a time as this, people are rising up to speak hope and love to this generation. Every conversation and every prayer that is spoken can have an incredible impact on someone’s life. It is our sincere desire that we will not shy away from this situation, but rather, speak the truth and offer hope to anyone who is struggling to believe that they matter to God and to others.
Mother Teresa once said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Let’s do our part!