Living with Depression: Stories From a Hong Kong Professional

by Nikki in Articles

DatePosted on September 03, 2021 at 12:42 PM
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Professionals in Hong Kong are under constant pressure, but often, they neglect the importance of taking care of their mental health as it is considered to be a taboo subject. Star Anise was pleased to invite a mental health advocate recently to raise awareness among the legal profession and dismantle the stigma around mental health.

The webinar, “Living with Depression: Stories from a Hong Kong Professional” moderated by Star Anise’s Managing Director, Chris Tang, features Vivian Cheng, a Senior Banking Professional and storyteller of #Thisisme, to share her lived experience with depression and her journey to recovery.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around the world, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide often caused by depression every year. And the legal industry is not immune. A study has revealed that lawyers are 3.6 times more likely on average to suffer from depression than people in other professions. But why? Here are some reasons as to why lawyers might be more at risk of suffering from mental illness:

  1. Lawyers tend to be perfectionists
  2. ‘Lawyering’ is a high-stress, high stakes, high performing profession
  3. Law school does not fully prepare lawyers for a career in law
  4. The legal industry has a prevalent burnout culture
  5. Mental illness stigma in the legal industry

During the webinar, Vivian shared with the audience that the onset of depression can be caused by either BIOLOGICAL or PSYCHOLOGICAL factors. It is not as simple as being sad or stressed. Sometimes, there is no one specific trigger! It can be a chain of stressful life events and much more. A lot of times, we think depression is caused by a divorce, a job loss, a death in the family but the root cause is often not apparent. Depression does not always require a “trigger”. It takes a lot of work, courage, and curiosity to explore to uncover the root cause.

If you are interested in listening to the full recorded webinar and Vivian’s life story, please e-mail us at


► #Thisisme, 

► Unconditional emotional support and Suicide prevention hotline: The Samaritans 

► Online matchmaking services bridging mental health service providers and users:

HeartChat Website: 




► A not-for-profit that provides training, events, resources, research and practical support for companies to create mentally healthy workplaces: City Mental Health Alliance HK 

► Golden Buzzer: Nightbirde's Original Song Makes Simon Cowell Emotional - America's Got Talent 2021 (over 30 million views since 9 Jun 2021) 

This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute medical, professional or other advice and does not purport to be comprehensive or current at the time of your viewing.

You should seek medical or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content. We do not accept responsibility for any loss that may arise from relying upon the information contained in this article.

About the Author


Nikki is Star Anise's resident writer and curator of content on all things careers, coaching and recruitment related at the Star Anise Knowledge Hub. 

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