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The month of May marks 'Mental Health Awareness Month' with the aim of global recognition and acknowledgement about various mental illnesses and disorders. Worldwide, it's certainly evident that over the past 10+ years there has been a willingness to recognise the importance of normalising discussions of mental health, after centuries of shame and misrepresentation.
It's important to educate ourselves and each other, in order to progress to better understanding around the subject and help others that may be suffering to reach out, get the help they need and overcome their battles. Let's aim to be among a society where people don’t think twice about seeking help, therapy or treatment due to the stigma of being fake or weak.
Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization, is
"A state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."
Whilst anyone can experience poor mental health at some time in their life, it can be difficult to identify those suffering as you cannot typically 'see' physical signs. Mental health looks different on everyone, and healing is not linear. Not only do we have one body, but also one mind. Our mental health is just as important as physical health.
LIABOX reached out to 3 professionals in the mental health industry; Stephanie - a registered Therapist from Healthy Minds Phuket (based in Phuket & Bangkok), Debora - Clinical Psychologist at Headstart International School, and Sanju - creator of Mental Health App, Sati.
Do you believe there is still a stigma around Mental Health in today's world? How does that differ within Thailand?
The effects of Covid19 on Mental Health?
It depends on the individual and how they are affected. The main issue has been stress and anxiety caused by uncertainty and fear. People losing their jobs and income, knowing people who are sick or have died, etc. The impact is different depending on the age groups. For children we see that they can be away from their school, friends, and colleagues, staying at home and they can have many questions about the outbreak . Not all children and parents respond to stress in the same way. Kids can experience anxiety, distress, social isolation and this can have short or long term effects on their mental health. For elderly, it can be isolation and solitude as well as fear of contracting the virus. - Stephanie
Many international schools work with School counselors. School counselor assists students at all levels, from elementary school to college. They act as advocates for students' well-being, and as valuable resources for their educational advancement. School counselors listen to students' concerns about academic, emotional or social problems and may also refer to specialist of mental health in case of need. - Debora
In children, early intervention is extremely important. What are the main signs or changes parents should be looking out for? And next steps to proceed if they would like to seek guidance and help determine whether there are issues or not?
Early intervention is crucial. The most common mental illnesses in teens are: generalized anxiety (excessive worry about everyday matters); social phobias (severe feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity in social settings); depression (persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, and/or emptiness), obsessive compulsory disorder (recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations – obsessions - that make them feel driven to do something repetitively – compulsions). Parents can observe some signs that might show up as changes in their grades, as for example disinterest in friends, or out-of-character irritability. If at least one of those symptoms is present, additional criteria have to be assessed.
Younger children often have ups and downs that affect the way they feel and behave. But sometimes children don’t ‘bounce back’ from the downs, and this starts to affect other parts of their lives. This can be a sign that children are having mental health problems.
If parents notice any of these following signs in their child, and the signs go on for more than a few weeks, it’s important to talk with child and then get professional help. - Debora
Where to seek help in Thailand //
Everyone should have the support to ask and access to help when needed.
Ask questions or book a free 20 min consultation with Stephanie of Healthy Minds Phuket HERE
Download Sati App
Mental Health in Children - Psy Dr Debora Previti - Available privately. Educational assessment available in case of neurodevelopment disorders. Contact email@example.com
Department of Mental Health Thailand (Thai)
Ooca - Talk to a professional from the comfort of your own home
Suicide hotline 1323 or National Suicide Prevention Center via LINE at @jvkkhelpline (Khui Kun)
Bangkok Hospital Mental Health Department - Chiang Mai, Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya
Samaritans (Thai & English) - A callback service providing emotional support.
Helpline 1323 - 24-hour mental health hotline that provides counselling support and information. Chatbot service also available on LINE @147nzgad where you can take a test to measure stress levels, or ways to cope with emotions and anxiety.
Thai Psychiatric Association
Talk Moment Thailand - Run by a team of psychologists & counsellers
Support Group Meet Ups - In person support group meet ups run by Mae and Shachee of Inspired Events TH
Path2Health Foundation - P2H's mission is to generate equal access to healthcare across all of society, for both physical and mental health.
Childline Thailand - A safe space for children and families suffering at home to reach out without judgement, for mental health support or other areas. Call 1387 (Free, 24 hours)
The Mighty - A support community of real life people facing health challenges, including personal stories, experiences, and conversations ranging from Mental Health, Chronic Illness, Disabilities and over 600+ topics to browse from.
Understanding Mental Health - https://everymind.org.au/mental-health/understanding-mental-health/understanding-mental-health-and-wellbeing
Bangkok Community Resources, Mental Health - https://bangkokcommunityresources.isb.ac.th/mental-health
National Institute of Mental Health - https://www.nimh.nih.gov/get-involved/education-awareness/
Protection of Teenage Mental Health during Covid19
Smiling Mind Au - Mindfullness app with designated programs for Adults, Youth, Classroom, Workplace, Other Languages
Undercover Asia - A Suicide Epidemic Thailand (Watch)
Talking Mental Health - Short Video for Kids (Kindergarten)
Lucy's Blue Day - Short Video for Kids (Primary)
Disney's Pixar: Inside Out - Movie
Teen Mental Health - Short Video
We All Have Mental Health - Short Video (Middle School)
Silver Linings Playbook - Movie
Vogue | Open Minded | Kendell Jenner Opens Up About Anxiety (Watch)
Men - There's No Shame In Taking Care Of Your Mental Health (Watch)
Why Big Boys Don't Cry | TED Talk (Watch)
A Collection of TED Talks About Mental Health (Watch)
Best Mental Health Podcasts of 2021 (Read & Listen)
Refinery 29 | Mental Health: A Loaded Topic For Asian Millenials (Read)
Inspirational & Educational Mental Health Advocate Instagram accounts to follow //
@mh.advocates // @myselflovesupply // @doodledwellness // @sonaksha // @calm // @myeasytherapy // @enjoybloom // @emotions_therapy // @letstalk.mentalhealth // @mentalhealthfoundation // @fightthroughmentalhealth // @crazyheadcomics
Healthy Minds Phuket on Facebook
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