What is more precious than life and a happy state of being? Well, many teenagers and children well before the age of 20 are taking their lives or inflicting injury on themselves. They deem life as being meaningless when they have barely trod halfway through the journey.


An increasing number of teenagers and children are facing a decline in mental health over the years. The problem ranged from low self-esteem to eating disorders, bullying in school, family breakdown, substance abuse, physical or sexual abuse, poverty, diseases, and depression.

Young people who contemplate suicide often do not know who to turn to or what to do. They are in despair and see death as the only escape from their misery. Some harm themselves to get attention. Others copy famous celebrities who take their own lives. Therefore, suicide by a singer or film star will see a string of copycat deaths of die-hard fans.

As society becomes more global and competitive, more and more people are suffering from mental health problems. Young people, especially, find it difficult to cope with the challenges due to the limited life experience and emotional strength that they have.

How can this problem be overcome? Children need to feel loved and wanted in the family and society they live in. They also need to develop independent minds and emotional strength to weather life’s challenges as they grow up. There need to be agencies or helplines for these young people when they get into difficulty or face problems beyond their ability to tackle. Trained counsellors may save a child from a suicide attempt or self-harm. Instead of chasing paper qualifications, young people need to be taught what is right or wrong, and the little joys of living. Instead of getting short-lived pleasure from readily available pornographic material in the Internet or mass media, spending mindless hours on video games, and engaging in premature teenage sex, young people need to be taught the value of working hard at relationships or responsibilities, and striving at something meaningful for their future. Patience, perseverance and self-discipline are essential survival skills to learn.