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Team to travel across Thailand to assess people’s mental health

Aug 06. 2020
Satit Pitutecha, Deputy Public Health Minister (Centre)
Satit Pitutecha, Deputy Public Health Minister (Centre)
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By The Nation

The Public Health Ministry will have its Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (MCATT) start screening people’s mental health nationwide from August 17 in a bid to cut down on the number of suicides due to the Covid-19 fallout.

Deputy Public Health Minister Satit Pitutecha made this remark after presiding over the “Mental Health in the Covid-19 Pandemic” at Srithanya Hospital in Nonthaburi on Thursday (August 6).

He said the assessment team will travel across the nation to check on people and see if they are suffering from stress, depression or have thoughts of killing themselves, and will provide immediate treatment to those with symptoms.

“MCATT will cooperate with provincial public health offices and village health volunteers as they will have information about living in the area,” he said. “The team will focus on screening medical personnel, business owners and the unemployed, as these three groups have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis the most.”

He said that though medical staff suffered a lot of stress since Covid-19 arrived in Thailand, people are also pressured by the impact the crisis has had on the economy and on patients with chronic conditions.

“As per a survey on some 700 Rayong residents, 50 people were found to have more stress than others,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Samai Sirithongthaworn, deputy director general of the Department of Mental Health, said the department bad sent a team to screen people’s mental health immediately after an Egyptian soldier visiting Rayong was found to be carrying the Covid-19 virus last month.

“After screening people at Rayong’s Laemthong department store, we found that 50 per cent of them were suffering from mental problems and four were thinking of killing themselves,” he said.

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