Most women in Bangkok spend up to nine hours a day at work, which means many have little time to spend with their children.
Hence the Public Health Ministry is planning four measures to tackle this issue next year. In a speech delivered at National Mental Health Week, Deputy Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew revealed the result of a survey conducted last month on 1,203 women in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan and Pathum Thani.
National Mental Health Week, which kicked off at CentralWorld last Thursday and runs until tomorrow, focuses on promoting mental health of women and children as well as preventing domestic violence.
The respondents, 31 per cent of whom were single and 59 per cent married, said they spent up to nine hours and 15 minutes at work or at school daily and only had about three hours and 50 minutes free to spend with their families. Cholnan said these figures were worrying, especially among mothers, because this meant the development of their offspring might be affected.
He added that one in four of the women with children was a single mother and up to 10 per cent said their kids were doing drugs.
The Mental Health Department and related agencies are hoping to implement four measures. The first would be to launch a campaign to inform victims of domestic violence of their rights and to establish a One-Stop Crisis Centre at all community hospitals.
The second would be to have maternity clinics also provide mental-health assessment and depression prevention at 800 hospitals nationwide, while the third would be to establish child-development clinics at community hospitals.
Last, a “one clinic one school” project would be launched to ensure children’s physical and mental health at secondary schools.
According to the survey, the average score for happiness was 7.46 out of 10 points. Also, 66 per cent of the respondents said it was their family that brought them the most happiness, while 11 per cent said it was success at work or school.
Financial problems were was cited as a source of unhappiness by 28 per cent of the respondents, followed by family at 24 per cent and love at 18 per cent.
When asked who they thought of first when facing happiness or sadness, 38 per cent cited parents and 21 per cent said children or the spouse.