Common Mental Health Challenges in a University Context in Hong Kong: a Study Based on a Review of Medical Records

Sze Mon Lo, Ho Cheong Wong, Ching Yee Lam, Daniel T.L. Shek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


While numerous studies have suggested the rising prevalence of common mental disorders amongst university students, studies examining mental health of Chinese university students are limited. As such, this study reviewed medical records of the Mental Wellness Clinic in one local University in Hong Kong from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017. The diagnosis and the recurrent themes were identified by retrospective analysis. Results showed that the top three diagnoses were anxiety, depression and subthreshold psychosomatic symptoms, accountable for 76% of all the 135 cases. The top three recurrent themes of maladjustment were academic and work stress (62%), family stress (33%) and stress from peers and romantic relationship (18%). Ten out of the 135 cases (1 in 14) showed active suicidal idea or recent suicidal attempt(s) that required urgent psychiatric intervention. This study echoes with the global and local studies that anxiety and depression are the top two issues of students for seeking help from mental health professionals. It is argued that cultural factors must be taken into account when interpreting the findings. The strengths of having a Mental Wellness Clinic in the university campus for promoting well-being of university students are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mental health
  • University students
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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