May 8, 2020 – dtac has equipped the Psychiatric Association of Thailand’s volunteering services with free hotlines and easy-to-remember numbers from 063-474-0061 to 0065. The hotlines are facing a surge in calls due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on mental health.
Under the “dtac Joins Forces to Fight COVID-19” (dtac Ruam Rang Jai Fight COVID-19) initiative, dtac is providing hotlines from 063-474-0061 to 0065, without any call charges to patients or to the Psychiatric Association of Thailand. The hotlines are particularly critical right now as they reduce the risk of infection that comes with hospital visits and provide much-needed support to patients facing COVID-19-related stress.
The Psychiatric Association of Thailand states that due to the COVID-19 crisis in April, the number of calls to its mental health hotlines increased 100%, and that they are key to limiting a surge in suicide rates at times of increased stress.
The Psychiatric Association of Thailand increases hotline efficiency to provide mental health support.
Associate Prof. Dr. Pichai Itsakul, Secretary of the Psychiatric Association of Thailand, said, “The Psychiatric Association of Thailand has plans to provide mental health phone counseling for anyone affected from the COVID-19 pandemic. This service is to alleviate depression and anxiety for health service providers, infected patients, high-risk quarantined people, and the general public.
“Calls to the hotline will be answered by volunteers who have received training in mental health treatments and counseling. Most of the callers asked for mental health advice, information about psychiatric illnesses, and mental health problems caused by the state of the economy which has resulted in burnout syndrome, stress, and depression. Having a hotline as a source for these people to ask for advice lessens mental health problems in Thailand that might lead to committing suicide.”
Sharad Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer of Total Access Communication Public Company Limited or dtac, said “We are working with numerous partners to limit the impact of the outbreak. We’re supporting SMEs, educational institutions, and of course our customers, be it with connectivity solutions or free data offers to support their productivity. In the field of healthcare, we’re prioritizing network services to hospitals and lending our call center’s expertise to support their digital channels. This latest initiative with the Psychiatric Association of Thailand will provide life-saving advice, which is a perfect example of what we mean by connecting people to what matters most.”
The hotline is available toll-free from April 20 – July 31, 2020, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. through the following numbers:
On-uma Rerkpattanapipat, Senior Vice President – Communications and Sustainability Division of Total Access Communication Public Company Limited or dtac (right) and Associate Prof. Dr. Pichai Itsakul, Secretary of the Psychiatric Association of Thailand (left), who received easy-to-remember, toll-free phone numbers from dtac (063-474-0061 to 0065) for the association’s mental health hotlines. The phone counseling is a measure that maintains social distancing while mitigating the mental, physical and economic impact of COVID-19.