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Stress, mental health hit local officials’ agenda

Stress, mental health hit local officials’ agenda

PHUKET: More than 300 local residents turned up at Wichit Municipality yesterday to take part in an event organised to help them cope with the stress brought on by the current economic crisis.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 27 November 2020, 01:27PM

The event was held after the municipality conducted an online survey of people living in Wichit Subdistrict.

The survey asked people how much stress they were experiencing from the current economic climate, and how well they thought they were coping, explained Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

Some of the responses indicated that some people were suffering serious stress-related issues, Mayor Kreetha said, adding that this is what inspired the municipality to hold the event.

“We even had a psychologist available at the event yesterday [Nov 26] for people who are suffering heavily from mental stress,” he told The Phuket News.

In total, about 350 people turned out for the event, Mayor Kreetha noted

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues,” Mayor Kreetha explained.

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While Mr Kreetha admitted that the root of the people’s problems stemmed from their financial situation, the event yesterday included a Buddhist monk explaining meditation techniques so that people could practice these at home to help reduce the physiological effects of high stress.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems,” he said.

Further workshops to help people cope with their current living situations are being considered, Mayor Kreeta confirmed.

“Yesterday, we completed the first step of caring for people’s mental health. We are looking at holding similar workshops in the future,” he said.

“But at this stage we just wanted to focus on people’s emotional and mental well-being,” he added.

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