3 million Covid-19 infections in Thailand since 2020, mental health plummets

Yesterday, Thailand’s number of Covid-19 infections since the pandemic hit the country in 2020 jumped to 3 million. There have been 781,371 infections since January 1. Out of those infections, there have been 1,478 deaths, and 589,997 recoveries.

Thailand’s Department of Mental Health has also reported the drastic impact of Covid-19 on mental health. DMH’s director-general told the Bangkok Post the suicide rate in Thailand is 5.9 times what it was in pre-Covid days. The department’s data found that people are 2.1 times more likely to develop stress, and 4.8 times more likely to develop depression, than they were pre-pandemic.

The director-general said one factor in the plummeting mental health is the slow spread of the Omicron variant, preventing progress on the situation. He said the DMH plans a new service.

He said that, in some cases, people have committed suicide when their business stopped making enough profit due to government closures and restrictions, in reaction to the Covid-19 situation. In one tragic incident, a couple in Chon Buri hung themselves in their home after loan sharks threatened them. The husband and wife both worked as food vendors, and Covid-19 restrictions as well as a lack of customers hit their profits hard. The couple had two children.

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A study by UNICEF from January 2020 to September 2021 found that 28% of Thai adolescents experienced high levels of stress, 32% risked depression, and 22% were at risk of suicide.

Around the world, the number of people dying because of Covid-19 has now surpassed 6 million, nearly 1/6 of those in the US alone.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | The Pattaya News | UNICEF

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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