Financial problems are driving more Thais to suicide

According to the Thai Ministry of Mental Health, an increasing number of Thais are at risk of suicide in extreme despair over their financial hardship.

According to a new statewide poll that polled nearly 2.6 million Thais in a country of 70 million people, nearly 5.5 percent of respondents said they felt suicidal about their situation as the ongoing pandemic weighs on the economy and in particular has harmed low wage earners.

Almost one in ten respondents said they felt very stressed or very depressed about their financial situation, which is an alarming trend according to health experts.

If the survey reflects opinion correctly, around 141,000 respondents are considering committing suicide, although the vast majority of them are unlikely to respond to such impulses.

However, the economic prospects of millions of Thais are unlikely to improve significantly in the short term.

Since March 2020, when large-scale overseas travel was virtually halted due to strict entry regulations, Thailand’s tourism-dependent economy has suffered a blow as millions of people became unemployed.

Experts say inadequate mental health services and a lack of social security provided by the government have helped fuel desperation among Thais

Many tourism-related businesses, from restaurants to nightclubs to hotels, have closed permanently, leading to rising unemployment in the industry.

For millions of disadvantaged, low-educated Thais, the pandemic has been financially ruinous, causing suicide rates to rise.

The nationwide suicide rate rose to 7.37 per 100,000 people last year from 6.64 the year before, including an increase in the rate for people between the ages of 10 and 19, although the actual rate as much, according to the Department of Mental Health is assumed to be higher.

Even before the pandemic, Thailand’s suicide rate was the highest in the region at 14.4 per 100,000, down from 11.2 per 100,000 for Singapore in second place and 8.6 per 100,000 for Laos in third place in 2019, according to the World Health Organization ( WHO). .

Thanks very much. You have now signed up for the daily newsletter

The global average that year was 10.4 per 100,000 based on WHO numbers.

Experts say inadequate mental health services and a lack of government social security have helped fuel desperation among Thais in a country where substance abuse, particularly in the form of cheap methamphetamines, is also endemic, especially among the low-paid.

In the last few months the number of homeless people around Bangkok has increased noticeably. Destitute people, especially men, sleep untidily on the street and beg for money with discarded plastic cups.

Even millions of people who have not become homeless are struggling in economically disadvantaged communities such as inner-city slums.

I can make just enough to survive, but I know a lot of people who haven’t had any real income in months

“It’s been very tough for us,” Suwirat Meeboon, a motorcycle taxi driver who works in central Bangkok and lives in a slum-style neighborhood, told UCA News.

“I can earn just enough to survive, but I know a lot of people who haven’t had any real income for months.”

Thailand reopened its door to foreign tourists late last year, but the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has prompted the government to tighten entry regulations again, keeping many tourism businesses in suspense.

“The longer that [pandemic] goes on, the worse it gets for the poor people, ”Suwirat said.

Support UCA news …

…. As the last few months of 2021 begin, we ask readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.

Since 40 years, UCA News remains the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. We publish almost 100 messages every week Reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts, and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, developed from a perspective of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.

Our journalistic standards are as high as those of the quality press; In particular, our focus is on a fast growing part of the world – Asia – where the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources in some countries can respond – South Korea, Vietnam and India, to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of being in its ranks Local reporters covering 23 countries in South, Southeast and East Asia. We cover the stories of the locals and their experiences in a way that western news outlets simply cannot match. And we report on the emerging life of new churches in old countries, where being a Catholic can sometimes be very dangerous.

In view of the dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we must seek the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out how you can support UCA News. You can start making a difference for as little as $ 5 …

Comments are closed.