According to Dr Amporn Benjaponpitak, Director-General of the Department of Mental Health, the number of patients with mental health issues has risen over the past three years. For example, the number of people suffering from depression in Thailand climbed from 30,247 in 2019 to 33,891 in 2021, which aligns with the increasing cases reported around the world, reports NNT (National News Bureau of Thailand).
The director-general emphasized that the Ministry of Public Health recognizes the importance of tackling this issue by taking proactive measures in developing a system to identify patients and people with possible mental illness. Wards are being established in hospitals nationwide to facilitate specialized treatment, while antipsychotics and other medications will be added to Thailand’s National List of Essential Medicines.
The ministry is also expanding courses to train more personnel, while proactively working with other agencies to address mental health cases in local communities, academic institutions and other areas.
The director-general also urged the public to be mindful of family members and close friends so they can provide early support as soon as possible. She further underlined the importance of family support in alleviating illnesses and allowing patients to return to their normal lives.
For more information and support, please contact public health officials by calling the 1323 hotline or through the Smile Connect in Line application.