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Hong Kong student suicides prompt government to provide schools with psychologists

The Hong Kong government has pledged to provide better psychological support services to students after four committed suicide in just five days, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.

The territory's Education Bureau held an an emergency meeting with schools, parents and psychologists on Thursday after the spate of suicides, the paper reported.

Twenty-two Hong Kong students have killed themselves since September; 12 were high school students - the youngest was 10 - while 10 were university students.

To read the full South China Morning Post story, click here.

Education systems in East Asia are known for being exam-driven and high-pressured, with students flocking to "cram schools" after official lessons end every day.

A study of 10,000 Hong Kong students taken between October 2014 and April 2015 found that a quarter had considered committing suicide in the two weeks before they took the survey. About 2 percent said they would really do so if they had the opportunity, SCMP reported in another article last August.

In South Korea, where the central bank even delays its meetings on annual college entrance exam days, suicide rates are the highest in the world.

South Korean government statistics from a 2014 study showed that a third of 13-to-24-year-olds were concerned about "study," and about 8 percent felt impulses to commit suicide.

The top cause of death among South Korean young people in 2012 and 2013 was "intentional self-harm."

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