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Financial hardship spiking Thailand’s suicide rate

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Financial hardship spiking Thailand’s suicide rate | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s police and health workers continue to work with online influencers such as Drama Addict, Mam Po Dum and More Lab Panda, to help identify, and if necessary intervene, in people sharing distressing messages over their battles in the current Covid era. Police have also been recruited specialist to help to prevent suicides and provide counselling.

Thailand’s Department of Mental Health reported a 22% rise in the suicide rate in the first 6 months of this year, some of the rise, they say, could be attributed to additional hardships from the lockdowns, business closures and restrictions imposed during Thailand’s outbreak in the early stages of the global pandemic. There is also anecdotal evidence in a rise of foreign suicides during the Covid-19 pandemic although there are no official statistics about the current rates.

Thailand, ranked in 32nd place in 2019 with 14.4 of suicides per 100.000 population… nearly 10,000 suicide deaths in 2019, The country holds the unenviable position of number 1 among ASEAN countries on the WHO suicide list, followed by Singapore (Rank 67 with the ratio of 11.2) and Laos (Rank 84 with the ratio of 8.6. The Philippines has the ASEANS’s lowest rate (Rank 163 with the ratio of 3.2).

According to the WHO, in Thailand, depression causes a significant number of years of life lost due to disability. The study of burden of diseases among Thai population in 2013 showed that depression was the third leading cause of disability-adjusted life year (DALY) lost in Thai females, after cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, respectively. Among males, it is among the top 12 causes of disease burden. Stigma surrounding mental illnesses, including depression, remains a major barrier for seeking help from family, friends and professionals. But mental health officials say that depression is a treatable condition.

Mental Health Department Director-General Dr. Kiartipoom Wongrachit notes that the rise in the country’s suicide rate is of great concern. Dr. Kiartipoom said that 2,551 suicide cases, or 3.9 out of every 100,000 of the population, were reported in the first 6 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to 2,092 cases for the same period last year.

Facebook already blocks video clips portraying self-harming or suicides, but Dr. Kiartipoom said mental health officials have detected increasing signs of suicide risk on Thailand’s social media platforms, such as farewell messages or self-harming plans.

“These people in distress are in need of help immediately. However, that is often difficult for health officials to contact them.”

“The department had solicited help from CSD police, as well as social media influencers, in a pro-active approach to help these people.

The Thai Mental Health Hotline is 1323, in Thai language. Additionally, if you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline… 02 713 6791 (English), or 02 713 6793 (Thai).

Police in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province have reported a 68 year old woman and her 41 year old son who committed suicide in their home on Thursday. Chiang Mai Police report that the pair were found lying side by side, dead, with a BBQ grill filled with ashes next to their bodies.

According to the sister of the deceased woman, the 3 lived together after the mother and son returned to Chiang Mai from Bangkok 4 years ago. Over the past few months, however, both mother and son had been complaining over their financial situation. As reported in CityNews, both had lost their jobs and had no income.

The sister told police that she had left the house to run some errands and returned to find the dead bodies. A suicide note thanked the elder sister for her “good care and telling her that this was the best solution”.

Chiang Mai Police have also reported another case of suicide. This time a 46 year old school teacher was found dead in his car, also with a charcoal burner inside the vehicle. Relatives told police that the man had been suffering from “some illnesses and was also stressed by life and his financial burdens”. The man also left a suicide note for his family.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    john brig

    November 7, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Of course. So what?

  2. Avatar

    Mr Farang

    November 7, 2020 at 11:18 am

    So by closing businesses and locking out tourism, the government created an estimated 2,000 additional deaths via suicide. Meanwhile COVID itself only took 60 lives in Thailand. Wake up people.

    • Avatar

      Logic Thinker

      November 7, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Wow. Spot on. Only took a moment to comprehend that… I’m sorry, but I must agree sir.
      I wish all Thai people happiness

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 7, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      Simply NOT REMOTELY TRUE, either according to the article or to any rational thought.

      From the article: ” 2,551 suicide cases … were reported in the first 6 months of the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to 2,092 cases for the same period last year.”

      So that’s NOT “an estimated 2,000 additional deaths via suicide”, but 459. That doesn’t make them any less tragic, but it shows just how wide of the mark you are.

      What you’ve failed to even consider is how much higher the suicide rate would be here and how many people would be affected and businesses closed if Thailand was going through the same issues with Covid and lockdowns as the West.

      There’s a global recession because of Covid, with businesses suffering inevitably as construction slows and demand for an enormous variety of products dries up, so less deand, less OT, etc. The idea that this is all down to “locking out tourism” and that opening the borders would solve all the problems without creating more, worse, in their place is simply blinkered.

      Wake up.

    • Avatar

      Ben

      November 7, 2020 at 9:48 pm

      Logic tells me you’re making the wrong comparison.

      Locking up the country = additional deaths due to financial hardship. 459 or 2,000 or whatever number people can come up with.

      Open up the country = unknown additional deaths from COVID that would easily dwarf 2,000. Also overwhelming the hospital system and eventually hurting the Thai economy because the illness would be rampant which would cause the Thai people to stay home instead of going about their business as they are now. Just look to America as the example of what Thailand might be if they opened up. Both their health and economy would be damaged.

      Good thing Mr Farang isn’t running Thailand or any other Asian country for that matter. Or Australia, New Zealand or anywhere else they’ve contained COVID. Wake up Mr Farang.

  3. Avatar

    EdwardV

    November 7, 2020 at 11:27 am

    “These people in distress are in need of help immediately.” – Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. Hopefully they get support and help needed.

  4. Avatar

    François Boder

    November 7, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    How many Farangs are been ” suicided ” ?

  5. Avatar

    Sheena Ricarte

    November 7, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Financial and economic problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis are a common reason why people around the world opt to end their lives. Joblesseness, job insecurity, and debt are among the people’s typical dilemmas that aggravate their financial situation. As we all know, a job translates to food on the dining table. Governments, NGOs, and private citizens alike should help financially problematic citizens. Money and jobs are the top concern of people worldwide in the COVID-19 era. Even in the United States, the winning president’s main task is to address the rampant joblessness caused by the coronavirus crisis.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 7, 2020 at 3:25 pm

      Very true, Sheena.

      According to US studies, a 1% rise in the unemployment rate means a 1.6% rise in the suicide rate so whoever wins, whether it’s the clown or the droid, they’ve got their work cut out.

      • Avatar

        Peter

        November 20, 2020 at 9:10 am

        The UK (similar population size) left it boarders open, and to date have now accumulated 53,775 deaths from covid, and that enormous figure is growing by around 500 more deaths a DAY. This is despite the country being subject to lockdowns to try to control the spread of this awful virus. I think the Thai policy of closing boarders, and keeping them closed, has been proven to be the correct one.

  6. Avatar

    Tony Grace

    November 7, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Financial hardship is a treble thing and causes hugh issues to a persons self-esteem, People that have had jobs suddenely having no income with lones to repay family’s to support and suddenly no jobs to even to apply for.we sometimes take things for granted but life can be a cruel sometimes.Right now Thailand is going through change and incomes have in some cases almost disapered for some. Feeling usless can make a person not feel apreacate of there true worth..

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    November 8, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Like Mr Farang, a lot of people commenting see the problem only in terms of the tourism sector and opening (or closing) the border, completely ignoring the effect on the rest of the economy.

    The reality is that “The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking predicts up to 7 million workers will be out of a job by June because of shutdowns from the pandemic. The figures could reach 10 million if the pandemic prolongs and there is no additional support from the government. Most of the layoffs will affect low-paid workers, with 6 million workers losing their jobs earning less than 20,000 baht a month. As estimated 4.2 million retail and shopping mall workers will lose their jobs,
    along with 1 million construction workers, 978,000 hotel workers, 250,000 restaurant workers, 200,000 spa and massage workers and 200,000 garment factory workers.”

  8. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    November 10, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Economic downturns always increase suicide rates anywhere.
    This is a global issue not a Thai one only.

    I’ve no doubt officials world wide will massage the figures to distance themselves from it.

    Things are particularly bad in Asian countries where social services are pretty much non existent.

    I’m sadly expecting a huge increase in charcoal sales and base jumping.

    Perhaps a re evaluation of the distribution of global wealth could be looked at,but I won’t be holding my breath.

    RIP to the many innocent victims of this crisis.

  9. Avatar

    Don R

    November 11, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Legalize the herb, now more than ever! Ganja is a cost effective way to manage depression and reduce the suicide rate. It’s less harmful than tobacco or alcohol. It’d open a lucrative market for Thai people, particularly poor people, to earn a real income, produce a real commodity, as opposed to driving motorbike taxis that rarely found fares even before the tourists left. I worry about those motorbike taxi guys who hustle day after day, probably consider themselves lucky to get to hold 300 baht–before the crisis. Now what’s left for them?

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      November 14, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      I do not worry about motorbike taxis.
      There were too many. They overcharged. They could have worked on building sites, fishing, farming, and honest work, but ripping off ferangs was more profitable.

  10. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 14, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    Here is the proof.
    Those price lists they are supposed to put up at the motor bike stands.
    See how many are blank. See how they are priced in Thais scrip. A scrip they reserve for ferangs.
    They do not want a ferang to see the prices so they can overcharge the ferangs.
    Thais do not use this script, but they do when they do not want the ferangs to see the Thai prices.

    • Avatar

      Khun plastic

      November 16, 2020 at 8:12 pm

      The numbers are the same with a little u on the end in Thai script.
      I love the price lists with the thai number with the little u and the larger falang price right next to each other.

  11. Avatar

    Fesmisol Yasmitacion

    November 21, 2020 at 11:26 am

    It’s quite intriguing that the Philippines has an extremely low suicide rate despite clearly experiencing more distress than in Thailand

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      November 21, 2020 at 11:41 am

      The Philippines suicide rate has been 30-40% lower than Thailand for the past 20 years. Catholic guilt? Who knows…

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Tourists flock to Chiang Mai Royal Park Rajapruek over the long weekend

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Tourists flock to Chiang Mai Royal Park Rajapruek over the long weekend | The Thaiger

Over the long holiday weekend, more than 1,500 tourists a day flocked to the Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai. Most of the visitors were Thais from other provinces to enjoy the beautiful display of seasonal flowers adorning the park grounds. The Ratchaphruek Flower Gardens are considered a “must-see” when visiting the northern capital. The expansive gardens are incredibly picturesque. Bike rentals are available and, for less active travellers, a tram is available to take you around.

One unique place to visit during the tour was the orchid greenhouse, where a variety of orchids are currently in full bloom. TripAdvisor recommends about 2 hours to get around the park.

Another attraction to the park was its dedication to featuring toxin-absorbing and air-purifying plants that draw in tourists to relax in the fresh air and natural beauty of the park. However, all visitors are asked to wear face masks and to observe the normal Covid-19 protocols of washing hands and socially distancing to protect themselves and others from any possible infections.

Other northern National Parks and mountains also had a high level of visits over the 4 day long weekend.

Thailand yesterday recorded 11 new cases of Covid with 1 case being locally-transmitted at a refugee camp in Tak province. The Burmese refugee reportedly snuck out of the camp and crossed the Thai-Myanmar border for a visit, and then returned to the camp. The refugee was displaying symptoms and later tested positive for Covid. Such an illegal crossing has seen Thailand impose stricter controls over its border with Myanmar after the latter nation saw a spike in virus cases.

SOURCE: The Pattaya Mail

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Chiang Mai

5 injured in Chiang Mai collision after driver falls asleep at the wheel – VIDEO

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5 injured in Chiang Mai collision after driver falls asleep at the wheel – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Mai News

5 passengers in a public transport vehicle have been injured after a pickup driver fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into them. Nation Thailand reports that the collision occurred on San Kampaeng Road in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

Rescue workers had to use specialist equipment to free the passengers, who were trapped in the bus. They managed to get them out just before the vehicle burst into flames, with another group of rescuers extinguishing the fire. The injured passengers have all been taken to hospital.

Police have launched an investigation into the collision, with the 29 year old pickup driver, Jetsada Norakaipan, admitting he fell asleep at the wheel.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Koh Pha Ngan and Chiang Mai win gongs in the latest Condé Nast Traveler Awards

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Koh Pha Ngan and Chiang Mai win gongs in the latest Condé Nast Traveler Awards | The Thaiger

Koh Pha Ngan, a short ferry ride from Koh Samui off the coast of mainland Surat Thani, is the ‘third best island in Asia’, according to a vote in the readers’ choice awards by Conde Nast Traveler. Thailand also ranked in 7th place in the ‘Top 20 Countries in the World list.

Topping the ‘Best Asian islands’ list were Cebu & Visayas, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Koh Pha Ngan, at 3rd place, is the home of Rin Nok beach where party-going tourists gather for the monthly full moon parties. But they’ve been shut down since April when Thailand shut its borders. Two other Philippine islands – and Siargao and Palawan – made up the top 5.

But Surat Thani’s governor Wichawut Jinto maintains there is more to Koh Pha Ngan than its full moon parties.

“The island boasts a blend of nightlife and beautiful natural scenery. The beach is a perfect cove flanked by mountains.”

“Koh Phangan also has other beautiful beaches such as Thong Nai Pan, Khuad and Yao beaches. Apart from the beaches, Than Sadet waterfall is also a landmark attraction.”

In other Condé Nast Traveler Awards, Chiang Mai was placed 2nd on the ‘Top 10 Best Small Cities’. Who was number 1? San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Bangkok, often a contender in the Best Big Cities Awards, didn’t even figure in the Top 10 on the Condé Nast list this year. Kyoto, Japan, scored top spot in the Big City list this time.

Koh Pha Ngan and Chiang Mai win gongs in the latest Condé Nast Traveler Awards | News by The Thaiger

Of course the TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, seized the opportunity.

“We are always proud to see Thailand on this list, but in this challenging year when the Covid-19 restrictions are affecting international travel, it is indeed a very special honour.”

“We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to the readers of Condé Nast Traveler as well as travellers from across the globe for their confidence in Thailand. When all difficulties from the Covid-19 pandemic have improved, Thailand will certainly be more than ready to welcome international tourists once again.”

But this year’s Condé Nast Traveller Awards were announced at a time when much of the world isn’t travelling. The magazine says the names in this year’s edition were the ones that “brought voters comfort”, that they “still connected with” long afterward and got them through the months without travel.

“These are the enduring gems that can withstand the test of time and the vicissitudes of circumstances. So while it is always an honour to be on this list, in this strangest of years, it is a special honour, indeed.”

“Many readers have told us that when we emerge from this pandemic, they want to turn their attention to the classics, whether that means personal favourites or places they know have brought joy to others.”

For more information on Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2020, check the full list HERE.

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