The Tree Hole Project: Helping Peers Help Themselves

Three pupils of primary school go hand in hand. Boy and girl with school bags behind the back. Beginning of school lessons. Warm day of fall. Back to school. Little first graders. Free Photo

Gone are the days when secrets were kept in unconventional spaces, but students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have adopted that concept into a more modern space – the internet. uBuddies, a student group comprised of trained peer counsellors, has set up Tree Hole, a Facebook page dedicated to fostering dialogue on mental health by allowing students to post anonymously to get things off their chest. As attitudes towards mental health support are changing for the better in Hong Kong, the rates of suicide have yet to decrease. Researchers at the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention in HKU have identified factors beyond academic stress, such as poor quality home lives, that increase the risk of suicide among already at-risk populations. Tree Hole seems a good step towards addressing this issue.

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