About a fifth of the Thai population, or as many as 13 million people, have at some time or the other suffered from mental problems such as stress and anxiety disorder, surveys conducted over the past three years show.
Narong Sahametapat, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, revealed Thursday that more than 3 million Thais had sought medical treatment related to mental disorders in 2011.
“The number of these patients is expected to rise as city lifestyle is expanding over increasingly wider areas,” he said.
People in urban areas live independently and have little support from others, unlike rural areas, where people often live with their extended families and have friendly neighbours, he said.
Narong added about 1,090,000 patients had sought treatment from 17 psychiatric facilities across the country in 2011. “The rest were treated at general hospitals.”