In line with global trends, mental health difficulties, particularly depression, are prevalent in Thailand (1). Up until a decade ago, however, these difficulties were under-recognised not only by those affected but also by the public and the health care profession. In 2009, a national programme was launched to improve mental health services in Thailand, which has reported a significant improvement in accessibility to mental health care as well as education on mental health difficulties (2). However, challenges still remain surrounding the extension of this support and awareness to all corners of Thailand, particularly in more rural regions. These difficulties were the focus of a previous collaboration between Dr. Stella Chan (Project Soothe PI) and Prof. Chonnakarn Jatchavala, who is based at the Department of Psychiatry, Prince of Songkla University (3,4). Project Soothe’s Thai research programme is based in the Songklha province of Southern Thailand, which borders the regions involved in the ongoing Southern Thailand Insurgency. In the wake of this conflict, locals are faced with an additional set of mental health challenges, especially those related to addiction and trauma.
1. Thailand: WHO statistical profile. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2015 (http://www.who.int/gho/countries/tha.pdf?ua=1)
2. Kongsuk T, Supanya S, Kenbubpha K, Phimtra S, Sukhawaha S, Leejongpermpoon J. Services for depression and suicide in Thailand. WHO South-East Asia J Public Health. 2017;6(1):34–38
3. Jatchavala C, Chan SW. Thai Adolescent Depression: Recurrence Prevention in Practice. Journal of Health Science and Medical Research. 2018; 14:147-55.
4. Jatchavala C, Chan SW. Psychological Interventions for Recurrence Prevention in Adolescent Depression: A Systematic Review. Journal of Health Science and Medical Research. 2018;20;36(3):171-83.