Free online therapy for Bangkok’s teenagers launched by DMH

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The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has initiated a campaign offering free online therapy sessions to Bangkok’s teenagers. This decision comes in the wake of data revealing a significant prevalence of mental health risks in teenagers.

The campaign, christened the Wall of Sharing for Teens, is a brainchild of a joint effort between the Wall of Sharing Foundation, the National Health Security Office’s (NHSO) Bangkok division, and the Ooca online consulting platform. The primary goal of this campaign is to create mental safe spaces for the youth while fostering the sustainable empowerment of communities.

Data from the DMH’s Mental Health Check-In, spanning from January 1 to April 20, disclosed that over 60% of its 1,200 users aged less than 20 years old, were exhibiting signs of depression risk, and 43.65% were at suicide risk.

This data also indicated a growing awareness amongst the younger generation about mental health and the significance of assessments, according to Dr Pongkasem Khaimook, the DMH’s chief.

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The campaign was thus rolled out to avail young individuals in Thailand’s capital of top-tier mental health therapy, without imposing any financial or time constraints.

The Ooca application is the platform through which Bangkok residents within the age bracket of 15-25 years old can access free online therapy sessions with psychologists, clinical therapists, and volunteers.

Dr Wimolrat Wanpen, head of the Rajanagarindra Institute of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, revealed that young individuals displaying signs of depression and suicide risk have the option to either undertake four consecutive sessions with psychologists or two sessions with therapists and two follow-ups with mental volunteers.

The NHSO Bangkok Division provides the financial support required for the campaign.

Dr Kanpassorn Suriyasaengpetch, who founded the Ooca application and the Wall of Sharing Foundation, stated that this is the first instance where the foundation has advocated for quality telemedicine for mental health.

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). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help.

HealthThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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