The teaching profession is not for the faint of heart, in Thailand or elsewhere.
Excessive workload, long hours, large classrooms, unruly kids are all stressors for teachers. If you happen to be an expat teacher here in Thailand, you will be in the unenviable position of having to handle cultural shock and being homesick sometimes as well.
It’s little wonder that the teaching profession is one where a higher-than-average rate of mental health issues is reported. Luckily, the past decade has also seen a heightened awareness of the importance of mental health to the overall health and wellbeing of the person. Let me take this chance to share with you a number of channels where support is available.
Seeking mental health support in Thailand
The No.1 thing to remember here is that mental health issues are just like physical health issues: lots of people have them. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help. The following are some of the best resources in Thailand:
New Counseling Service (NCS)
Providing mental health services, training, and counseling to locals and expats, NCS is the only fully-licensed counseling center in Bangkok. With over 20 years of experience, NCS offers support for various mental health issues, from anxiety and depression to grief counseling and crisis intervention. The staff at NCS are proficient in multiple languages, including Thai, English, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Dutch.
Psychological Services International (PSI)
PSI has been providing counseling, therapy, and assessment services for mental health to expats in Bangkok since 2001. The counselors at PSI are proficient in psychotherapy and social work, which makes them well-equipped to help you find medications for any mental health issue you may be facing. Furthermore, the staff at PSI are multilingual, fluent in English, French, and Thai. PSI's online services cater to clients residing outside of the capital city too.
Manarom Hospital is a renowned private healthcare facility that prioritizes the delivery of exceptional mental and behavioral care services. They provide a wide range of services including adult psychiatry and day programs tailored to meet the needs of both individuals and groups. With a team of highly skilled multidisciplinary professionals, the hospital is well-equipped to handle a diverse range of mental health issues, including substance abuse, family conflicts, behavioral problems, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Bangkok Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (BMRC) at Bangkok Hospital offers specialized treatment, diagnosis, and rehabilitation for mental health issues.
In case of a life-threatening mental health emergency, seeking immediate medical care is vital for you or your loved ones. The preferred approach is to directly head to an international hospital's emergency room and ask to see the on-duty psychiatrist. Bangkok Hospital, with its comprehensive mental health services and facilities, such as outpatient services, inpatient care, counseling, and day programs, is a suitable option to consider (along with Manarom Hospital mentioned above).
The Samaritans provide a valuable resource for those who may be grappling with feelings of depression, loneliness, or thoughts of suicide. You can call their English hotline at 02 113 6789 (Press 2) any day of the week, completely free of charge. The hotline has trained staff who specialize in suicide prevention, but even if you're not feeling suicidal, you can benefit from speaking with someone who is attentive and trained to listen carefully. Within 24 hours of leaving a voicemail on the English hotline, a staff member will return your call. And the service is entirely anonymous, so you don't have to provide your real name.
What to do in an emergency
If you're in a life-threatening situation, don't hesitate to visit the nearest international hospital with a psychiatrist on duty. Even though hospitals may inquire about insurance or payment, don't let that prevent you from seeking help. While Bangkok and Manarom Hospitals have dedicated psychiatrist units, any psychiatrist can assist during an emergency.
Looking for insurance that covers psychiatric care?
Not all health plans cover mental health issues, and the ones that do may have waiting periods. And don’t forget that a good policy should take good care of your physical health as well. That’s why your best bet is to work with a reputable insurance brokerage for selecting the right health plan for expats in Thailand.
I work for a highly regarded brokerage called Pacific Prime Thailand, and I assure you that my team has the right experience and can find the right plan for you. It will meet all your requirements and fit your budget.
To speak to an advisor or secure a plan today, you’re more than welcome to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact my team at Pacific Prime Thailand.