The Impact of Social Events in 2019 on Physical and Mental Health

As with other large-scale events and disasters, some people have experienced psychological reactions to social events in 2019 in physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects. In some cases, warning signals (i.e. more severe symptoms; please refer to Disaster Overview - What are the impacts of disaster for more information) may surface. The international authoritative medical journal The Lancet published that during social events in 2019, about 1 in 5 adults is suspected of suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and this prevalence is similar to that in the areas where major disasters, armed conflicts, or terrorist attacks have occurred[1].

In addition, people who browse information about social events on social media platforms for more than 2 hours every day may also be at a higher risk of suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.


An organisation interviewed 1,133 citizens by random sampling in May 2020[2]


More than 35% of the respondents indicated that they and their families have different political opinions on the law amendment.


Nearly 50% of the respondents said they have had disputes with their families because of different political views.


In a study conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, some secondary students responded that they were under a certain degree of pressure because of their political stance, especially when they had a different political view from their family members or relatives. From October to November 2020, Breakthrough Limited interviewed 542 teenagers to study the impact of the anti-amendment incident on adolescents' mental health[3].

75% of teenagers stated that they were unhappy about the incident


13.8% of adolescents believed that social events have brought negative impacts on their interpersonal relationships.

The above statistics show that the social events in 2019 not only affected personal emotions and mental health of Hong Kong citizens, but also their families, interpersonal relationships, and community cohesion to varying degrees.

[1] Depression and post-traumatic stress during major social unrest in Hong Kong: a 10-year prospective cohort study. (Ni, M. Y., Yao, X. I., Leung, K. S. M., Yau, C., Leung, C. M. C., Lun, P., Leung, G. M. ,2020)