The government was urged on Wednesday to provide more mental health support for the homeless.
The plea came after the number of registered street sleepers under the Social Welfare Department doubled over the past nine years.
Hong Kong Shue Yan University and a charity organisation supporting the homeless, ImpactHK, interviewed 89 street sleepers. The study revealed that roughly 60 percent of them had endured neglect, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse prior to becoming homeless.
It also found that about half of the respondents suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
An assistant professor of psychology at Shue Yan, Bess Lam, said the administration does not provide the homeless with enough help.
“If [about] 50 percent of them have psychological issues or mental health issues, and there are only three teams, which include only three psychiatric nurses to help those individuals, [we are lacking in this area].”
“It’s essential for the government to revise the policy, to give more resources to those people.”
She also stressed the need for the government to provide them with practical mental health services.
Lam added: "We hope that education can reduce stigma and stereotype in the general public against these homeless individuals."