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Thai Government Working to Safeguard Mental Health
of Children Tsunami Victims

February 6, 2005

by Kevin Caruso

The Thai government is urging people to not ask children tsunami survivors to tell their tsunami stories.

Innumerable children are suffering from clinical depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other disorders because of the disaster, and when they are asked to tell stories about the tsunami, their condition worsens because they relive the disaster.

And psychologists who have been working with the children emphatically say that the children do not want to talk about the tsunami. Many children are overwhelmed because they lost family members and their homes.

“Repeating the tragedies could block their healing process,” said Dr. M.L. Somchai Chakrabhand, the Director of the Department of Mental Health in Thailand.

Chakrabhand is also urging schools to not allow outsiders into the schools to question the children.

“We should understand their states of mind and should not violate their rights to good care,” he said. “School teachers, parents or their current guardians should protect them from anything which affects children’s mental health.”

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