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Vaccine Jai program aims to fight Covid-19 related suicide



PHOTO: The Vaccine Jai suicide prevention campaign aims to help people struggling during Covid-19. (via NNT/PhotoStockEditor)

A new campaign has been launched that puts a spotlight on the problem of people driven to suicide as a result of the devastating effects of Covid-19 on life in Thailand now. Vaccine Jai translates literally to a “vaccine for your heart” and is the name of a program created by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to address Covid-19 related suicides.

A virtual seminar was convened with the Department of Mental Health and Srinakharinwirot University to launch the new program aimed at helping people balance their mental health in emotionally stressful times like this to avoid suicide. The program serves as an online assessment tool designed to provide guidance to people coping with the pressures that Covid-19 have brought to many lives throughout Thailand.

Vaccine Jai helps evaluate mental health and identify risks for people struggling to survive during the pandemic. It aims to encourage people to focus and reinvigorate people’s mental health, give them a bit of a virtual pep talk by asking a series of 20 questions designed to provide comfort and inspire positive thinking. The questions will change each month so users in need of a boost can access the tool more than once, and it will be available at any time, day or night.

The director of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation says the tool was created for everyone but is especially aimed at workers in the tourism industry. More than 4 million people working in the tourist sector have lost their jobs, and with the inability to make any money and support themselves or their families, they are at high risk for suicidal thoughts.

Many have struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic, with more sectors launching protests around the country demanding government assistance. A recent tragic story of a food cart vending couple who committed suicide to escape loan sharks made headlines shedding light on a too-often overlooked way that the Covid-19 pandemic can be deadly.

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 Phuket News


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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