As the pandemic drags on, Thailand’s Mental Health Department is working to expand its network to reach out to more vulnerable people and support them. This is done through its collaboration with village health volunteers, local administrative organisations and various ministries.
“It is the Mental Health Department’s job to pass on the knowledge and skills to members of our network, including how to offer counselling and how to listen to someone who is stressed share their feelings in a way that would help them,” Dr Amporn said.
Meanwhile, phone and online counselling continues to be offered by suicide prevention groups.
According to Ms Sriaroon from the Samaritans of Thailand, listening helps remind people who are vulnerable that they still have someone who understands their suffering.
“When they speak to someone, it’s like they get to listen to themselves. So, we listen to them and let them talk about what is troubling their mind. As they keep talking, sometimes they’ll realise that actually, there is a way out,” she told CNA.
“I want to tell them that they’re not alone. At least, there are volunteers who are happy to be their friends and listen to their problems. I want them to know that in fact, their lives are valuable. Even though it may be full of hardship right now, if they can get through this period, their life ahead is valuable.”
Where to get help:
Samaritans of Singapore Hotline: 1800 221 4444
Institute of Mental Health’s Helpline: 6389 2222
Singapore Association of Mental Health Helpline: 1800 283 7019
You can also find a list of international helplines here. If someone you know is at immediate risk, call 24-hour emergency medical services.