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Title: Common mental health challenges in a university context in Hong Kong : a study based on a review of medical records
Authors: Lo, SM 
Wong, HC 
Lam, CY 
Shek, DTL 
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Applied research in quality of life, 13 Dec. 2020, v. 15, no. 1, p. 207-218
Abstract: 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.
Keywords: Mental health
University students
Publisher: Springer
Journal: Applied research in quality of life 
ISSN: 1871-2584
EISSN: 1871-2576
DOI: 10.1007/s11482-018-9673-5
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
The following publication Lo, S.M., Wong, H.C., Lam, C.Y. et al. Common Mental Health Challenges in a University Context in Hong Kong: a Study Based on a Review of Medical Records. Applied Research Quality Life 15, 207–218 (2020) is available at
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