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Coronavirus Thailand

Public mental health a government concern during Covid crisis

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Miracles Asia

Following a spike in suicides and suicide attempts nationwide, thought to be largely due to the twin burdens of unemployment and isolation, the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has expressed concern about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of the public.

Reuters reported yesterday that one woman, frustrated that she hadn’t received the 5,000 baht relief cheque for which she’d applied a month before, drank rat poison in front of the Finance Ministry. Other such stories are found daily in the media.

Speaking of the increase in suicides since the beginning of the pandemic, CCSA Spokesman, Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, said the government and the Ministry of Public Health understand the gravity of the issue and take it seriously. He says they are searching for solutions, using data from academics and various sources.

A report released by the Department of Mental Health stresses that this is a global crisis. It’s affected people’s physical and mental health. Physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists and academics around the world have predicted that the number of deaths from self-harm or suicide would increase during the pandemic. The Department of Mental Health is investigating this problem. Different sectors in many countries are cooperating to address the issue.

“If people are aware of relatives or other individuals who may have suicidal thoughts, they can contact the Department of Mental Health’s hotline on 1323. Although the number of suicides is currently lower than that during the Tom Yum Kung financial crisis, all sides have to work together to solve it.”

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).ress, isolation

 

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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