Connect with us

Thailand

Land of teenage tears – tackling Thailand’s youth depression and suicide

Thaiger

Published

 on 

Thailand had the highest suicide rates in ASEAN, according to a recent study conducted by the World Health Organisation. The WHO ranked Thailand 32nd worldwide in its annual suicide rate report which came out earlier this month. The report indicated around 10,000 deaths by suicide per year, much higher than other ASEAN countries.

Many of the deaths are Thailand’s younger population.

The focus of this report is on Thailand’s youth – how they are being affected with depression, some of the possible causes, and campaigns like the #BTSLoveMyself campaign launched in conjunction between UNICEF and pop group BTS.

A few years back, Somrak Chuwanichawong from Bangkok’s Srithanya Hospital presented her research on depression, suicide and public health in Thailand. Her report noted the increased number of suicides in recent years could be attributed to personal depression. Somrak said at the time that depression can have many causes, but when combined with mental imbalances, can lead to suicide when left untreated.

Then in December 2017, Thailand’s Department of Mental Health director general Boonruang Trairuangworawat claimed that an estimated one million Thai teenagers suffer some sort of clinical depression, many untreated. On top of that Boonraung said that two million more are at risk, making an upward of three million among a population of eight million teens in Thailand.

Three months ago the current DMH director general Kiattibhoom Vongrachit released another report showing that Thailand’s youth now have an increased risk of depression and suicide. In the first six months of 2019, 40,635 calls were made to DMH’s hotline; 13,658 of the calls were from children and young people aged between 11 – 25 years of age.

This is around a 20% rise in the rate of calls made during 2018.

According to a report from Google and Temasek towards the end of last year, the Southeast Asian region is poised to reach 480 million internet users by 2020, with smartphones users making up roughly 90% of this number.

But more than this, the report also found that on average, consumers in Southeast Asia spend 3.6 hours per day on mobile internet. Thais though spend 4.2 hours per day on mobile internet. For context, consumers in the US spend an average of just two hours per day on mobile internet.

Land of teenage tears - tackling Thailand's youth depression and suicide | News by Thaiger

Statistics from the ‘We Are Social’s 2018’ report also show that Thailand’s social media penetration is strong. According to the report, out of a population of 69.1 million, 57 million are internet users, 51 million are active social media users, 55.6 million are unique mobile users, and 46 million are active mobile social media users.

Thailand’s public health minister Somchai Chakkraband, speaking at an international symposium, said that becoming hooked on social media for many hours each day heightens the risk of depression. It was also reported at the same symposium that 800,000 people had called the DMH with many parents saying they have trouble communicating with children who they say are “addicted to social media”.

Experts agree that overuse of social media could be a cause of depression and youth could be most susceptible to such a side effect.

On September 10, the WHO, in collaboration with global partners, launched a “40 seconds of action” campaign, which will culminate on World Mental Health Day on October 10. This year’s theme is suicide prevention.

Just coming to the end of a two year campaign, the ‘Love Myself’ campaign is a UN-sponsored anti-violence/anti-suicide campaign spearheaded by South Korean pop group BTS in partnership with the Korean and Japan Committee for UNICEF.

The campaign idea was introduced by the group as a sponsorship to #ENDviolence, a UNICEF global campaign aimed at the protection of young people so they can live without the fear of violence, and promotes the hashtag #BTSLoveMyself, which asks fans and supporters to post self-loving photos with the hashtag to different social media platforms.

The band is hugely popular in Thailand and the campaign is being followed by local authorities as a template for future outreach campaigns to Thai teenagers.

Compounding the lack of support for youth in general, is non-existent support for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex) youth. There are only two support groups in Chiang Mai City for gay men, and no support groups for lesbian women. There is also very little to no support for street youth and none for refugee youth, who cannot legally get a diploma or work in Thailand. With a lack of structure in their lives, some Thai youth have turned to gangs and violence as a source of community, expression and/or survival.

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).

SOURCE: The ASEAN Post | Wikipedia | love-myself.org

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime8 mins ago

US man arrested for bank fraud 1 day before statute of limitation

Tourism3 hours ago

Tourism Minister proposes reopening entertainment venues November 1

Tourism3 hours ago

Full details on the 3 ways to travel to Thailand from November 1

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

World7 hours ago

1 dead, 1 injured in prop gun shooting on Alec Baldwin movie set

World8 hours ago

Biden reaffirms US would defend Taiwan against Chinese attack

Tourism8 hours ago

Curfew lifted October 31 for all or part of 17 Thai provinces

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Covid-19 Friday: 66 deaths, 9,810 infections, provincial data

Thailand10 hours ago

Thai car production expected to grow

World11 hours ago

Vienna Tourist Board censored by Facebook, shares art on OnlyFans

Crime11 hours ago

Man arrested after allegedly raping young girl 18 years ago

Education12 hours ago

China to prioritize foreign students returning

Tourism12 hours ago

Thailand’s focus on wealthy tourists won’t benefit small business

Thailand13 hours ago

3 categories allowed back in Thailand, Updates on re-opening | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 115

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Covid-19 infected patients to receive vaccine after recovering

Morning Top Stories Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | The list of 46 countries permitted to enter Thailand from Nov 1 | October 22

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending