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National poll says mental health problems on the rise

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Stress from finances as well as health worries has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Suan Dusit University poll. Researchers from the Bangkok university asked 1,239 people last week what their top concerns were, finding that mental health problems such as stress and anxiety have gotten much worse.

Suicides have also been increasing due to the stress with money and other worries, brought on by the pandemic. Scholars at Chiang Mai University studied suicide cases that took place between late March and mid-April. They found 38 suicide attempts were driven by the lockdown, business closures, job loses and furloughs, the Bangkok Post reports.

The UN has warned about a global mental health crisis brought on my the pandemic last month. Even children kept out of school to protect them from the virus can face stress and anxiety, a World Health Organisation official said.

“Elderly people face stress because they are at high risk of serious infection.”

The poll by the Suan Dusit University found many people are worried about finances, many said they do not have any savings. Many also say they are in debt or their debt has increased since the pandemic.

Some of the findings from the Susan Dusit poll are…

  • Around 71% say they are stressed about payments
  • 62% are worried about their finances due to decreased income
  • 63% are worried about losing their jobs
  • 70% are worried about the health of their family members
  • 60% say their mental health has declined

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).

SOURCES: Thai Residents| Bangkok Post| Bangkok Post

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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