【社评双语道】政府应为有需要家庭提供适切支援

2018-04-11 17:04:53  阅读 36 次 评论 0 条
■运动员菲比斯也曾患有过度活跃症。 作者供图
■运动员菲比斯也曾患有过度活跃症。 作者供图

  【原文】一名怀疑有过度活跃症的男童被勒死,男童外婆涉嫌谋杀被捕。消息指,有人声称「唔想佢(外孙)咁辛苦」,并曾企图自杀。事件令人扼腕唏嘘,显示部分家长照顾精神有问题的子女或晚辈心力交瘁,容易陷入绝望而作出极端错误抉择,酿成伦常悲剧。

  香港作为文明富裕的社会,帮助受精神、情绪困扰的患者及家庭,政府和社会各界责无旁贷。政府要有针对性加强资源投入,与社区组织、民间团体等密切配合,积极主动发现、协助有需要的家庭,为他们提供适切支援,避免伦常悲剧重演。

  家长照顾患有学习障碍、过度活跃、自闭等问题的儿童,需要付出数倍乃至数十倍于正常儿童的时间和精力,身心俱疲;加上香港生活紧张,居住环境改变令邻里往来疏远,又受到中国人「家丑不外扬」的文化影响,照顾有精神问题青少年的家长承受巨大的经济、心理压力,不少家长自己也出现情绪问题,一时钻牛角尖而做出「傻事」,伦常悲剧时有所闻。

  统计显示,本港有逾4万名儿童及青少年患专注力失调或过度活跃症,其中一半儿童,由求医至确诊及治疗,需在公院或公营机构轮候一年以上,约14%更长达2至3年;而私家精神科医生收费非常高昂,单是诊金每次过千元。医学界人士强烈呼吁政府出手相助,对有精神问题的儿童及青少年支援不足,相关家庭面对的压力就更大。社会各界应及时施以援手,避免悲剧一再重演。

  纾缓有精神问题的儿童及青少年的痛苦,减轻家庭的重负,政府应该增拨资源、增加儿童精神科专科医生人手,缩减治疗轮候时间;社福机构更应扮演积极角色。

  如果有问题的青少年及家人,透过与社福机构接触,由社福机构安排相关的专业训练,提供语言、行为及情绪的辅导,同时令照顾者学懂减压,纾缓身心,让有问题的青少年及家人的路不那幺艰辛。

  目前明爱、东华三院及协康会等机构,都有相关的支援服务。经过此次悲剧之后,有关社福机构应加强宣传,让更多照顾有情绪问题青少年的家庭掌握资讯,主动寻求协助,不再隐藏问题;对相关的资源需求,政府应该根据实际情况适时增拨,不让社福机构面对「无米之炊」的窘境。

  患有情绪病并不可怕,成功治癒并创出一番成就者大有人在。有「飞鱼」之称、获得史上最多奥运金牌的美国运动员菲比斯,年少时就患有过度活跃症,更被老师「看死」:「此生将一事无成!」菲比斯选择利用游泳训练的专注、情绪控制与纪律,帮助克服症状,而非依赖药物,成长后创下世界泳坛传奇。

  香港的各界名人、精英翘楚,亦应该借镜菲比斯的事迹和爱心,善用自己的名望、金钱,多关心、协助有特殊教育需要的青少年,让香港多一点爱,少一点悲剧。 (标题为编辑所加) (摘录自香港文汇报社评19-3-2018)

  Government must commit more resources to assist families who are in dire need

  【译文】A boy suspected of having a hyperactivity disorder was strangled to death, and his grandmother was later arrested for murder. According to sources, the grandmother wanted to "end the boy's suffering" and had attempted to commit suicide afterwards. This upsetting tragedy has once again brought to our attention the fact that, many carers are often mentally and physically exhausted, and thus very susceptible to looming family tragedies by making the wrong decision out of despair. In a highly developed and wealthy city like Hong Kong, there is no excuse for the government and everyone of us to not help those afflicted and their families. The government must commit more resources and make a concerted effort with local community groups to proactively identify and assist families who are in dire need, so as to avert similar tragic events in the future.

  Parents whose children suffer from learning disability, hyperactivity or autism are bound to sacrifice more time and energy in raising them. Combine such exhaustion with the stressful environment in Hong Kong, alienation between neighbours and the pressure from traditional Chinese taboos, carers of the mentally ill have to sustain enormous economic and psychological burden. Many of them would succumb to the pressure, which in turn clouds their mind and leads to tragedies.

  Statistics show that out of the 40,000-plus children and teenage Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) patients in Hong Kong, half of them spent more than a year waiting for diagnosis and treatment from public healthcare, 14 per cent of them even waited for two to three years. Meanwhile, services from private psychiatrists are unaffordable to many, as a single visit might cost over $1,000. The medical sector have strongly urged the government to intervene, as lack of support would aggravate the problems faced by the already strained families of the mentally ill. The society should lend a helping hand to the needy and avoid the repetition of such painful mishaps.

  To ease the suffering and burden of the mentally ill and their families, the government should commit more resources to cut down the waiting time by hiring more paediatric psychiatrists, while welfare non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should take up a more active role. If welfare NGOs could arrange speech and behavioural therapies, professional counselling and stress management training, life could be much easier for both the patients and their families.

  Caritas Hong Kong, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and Heep Hong Society are some of the NGOs that already offer these services. Having experienced this tragedy, local welfare groups should step up their efforts in raising public awareness, so that families in need could reach out for help and receive proper education. To avoid shifting the burden to NGOs, the government should also prepare to allocate more resources and provide help.

  Mental illness is nothing to be afraid of, as many have overcome the adversity and achieved great success. Michael Phelps, history's most decorated Olympian and a swimmer nicknamed the "Flying Fish", was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and was told by one of his teachers that he "would never amount to anything and would never be successful". Instead of depending on medication, Phelps harnessed his symptoms and became a swimming legend by training up focus, emotion control and discipline with practices in the pool.

  Like Phelps, Hong Kong's celebrities and elites should spread the love and help young people with special educational needs with their fame and fortune, and hopefully there will be less tragedies in our home.■Jeffrey Tse [ywc_jeffrey@hotmail.com]

  Exercise

  1. 专注力失调或过度活跃症

  2. 特殊学习障碍

  3. 自闭症

  4. 儿科

  5. 言语治疗

  Answer

  1. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  2. Specific Learning Disability

  3. Autism

  4. Paediatrics

  5. Speech Therapy

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