Mental health for an expat in a new country can be tough. From language barriers and culture shock to lack of sleep and missing friends and family, travelling for an extended period of time or living in a new country can be stressful. Thailand has a variety of mental health resources that can help treat your mental health whether you are just visiting or living in the country.
Mental health problems can be caused for a variety of reasons. Isolation, loneliness, stress and substance abuse are all common factors that may contribute to poor mental health. What’s important is getting the help you need to feel better. There’s nothing wrong with needing help. And fortunately, there are plenty of mental health resources in Thailand designed to help expats deal with their mental health issues.
Samaritans have a hotline that you can call at any time. The service is free and the staff are trained in suicide prevention. You don’t need to be suicidal to call the hotline. Sometimes, just talking to someone when you are feeling lonely can help tremendously.
The Samaritans are not associated with any religion or ideology and staff are trained to listen carefully to your problems. They have an English phone number for those who don’t speak Thai. The service operates as a callback service. After leaving a voicemail, a staff member will give you a call back within 24 hours. The service is anonymous, so you don’t have to give your real name.
New Counseling Service (NCS) is a counselling center based in Bangkok. It’s the only fully licensed counselling center in the city and staff are trained in helping local and foreign people. NCS has been operating for twenty years. Their team of multicultural professionals is trained in a variety of mental health services, including depression, grief counselling, anxiety, eating disorders and crisis intervention. Staff at NCS speak a wide range of languages, including Thai, Dutch, English, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Psychological Services International (PSI) is a mental health provider based in Bangkok. They provide counselling, therapy, and assessment services for a wide range of patients, including children, families, couples and adults. Counsellors are trained as clinical psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists and counsellors. That means if you’re seeking medication for a mental disorder, they will be able to help. Staff at PSI speak Thai, English and French. Their website features some helpful resources on dealing with culture shock and other things foreigners may experience in Thailand.
Manarom Hospital provides a range of mental health services and is Thailand’s first and only private hospital for mental and behavioural issues. Their mental health services include adult psychiatry as well as day programs that provide supervised and structured programs designed for individuals and groups.
The staff are trained in dealing with a wide range of serious mental-hygiene issues including substance abuse, PTSD, sexual trauma, eating disorders, gender dysmorphia, family problems, behavioural problems and much more.
Staff at Bangkok Hospital’s Chitrak Center are trained in treating, diagnosing and rehabilitating mental health patients. The center is relatively new and well equipped to help patients. The hospital focuses on taking an individualized approach to treat patients and helping people see their self-worth.
Patients receive a tailored treatment plan. The hospital also has an online service that was set up to help patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. Patients must be registered as an outpatient with the hospital before booking online.
There are many hospitals in Thailand that have mental health services available to expats. The UK government has a published list (linked above) that details which hospitals in Bangkok are a reliable resource for seeking psychiatry and general mental-hygiene help. The list includes public and private hospitals.
Helpline 1323 is a twenty-four-hour mental health hotline that can provide support, counselling and information for anyone 24-hours a day. Whether you are dealing with a mental health issue or just want to chat with someone, the staff are trained to help you. They can give you information and find the qualified help you need, or talk you through your emotions.
Another hotline is the Thailand Psychiatric Association’s hotline. The call center is operated by mental health professionals and operates between 10 am and 10 pm every day. There are seven different numbers available to call and callers can also request to be called back if the lines are busy.
As an expat, it can sometimes be difficult to get hold of people back home to talk about your feelings. If you’re experiencing a mental health issue in Thailand, please reach out to one of the sources above. You don’t need to be experiencing a serious mental health issue to seek help. Sometimes, just talking about your feelings can be a big help.
sunshinebehaviorialhealth.com – How Sleep Affects Mental Health and How to Improve Rest
samaritansthai.com – About Us
ncsbkk.com – New Counseling Service
psiadmin.com – Psychological Services International
manarom.com – Mental Health Services
bangkokhospital.com – Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Center
facebook.com – Helpline 1323 Facebook Page
facebook.com – Thai Psychiatric Association Hotline
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