Thai police and health agencies join efforts to tackle rising mental health-related crimes

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The Royal Thai Police (RTP) have joined forces with public health agencies, signing a game-changing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the escalating issue of individuals with psychological disorders.

The initiative aims not only to curb the growing number of attacks but also to ensure those affected receive the vital medical treatment they urgently require.

Deputy National Police Chief, Police General Kitrat Phanphet, shed light on the alarming trend.

“The number of attacks by people suffering from such disorders is likely to keep growing.”

Startling data reveals an average of 21,000 such attacks occur annually, prompting the need for a collaborative and strategic approach to tackle the root causes.

Permanent Secretary for Public Health Opas Karnkawinpong highlighted the profound impact the MoU is set to have on the affected individuals and their families.

“This MoU will facilitate access to proper medical treatment and ensure welfare support for basic healthcare.”

The partnership between law enforcement and health authorities signifies a commitment to providing comprehensive care for those grappling with mental health challenges.

Atchariya Pangma, Secretary-General of the National Institute for Emergency Medicine, emphasised the inherent risks associated with individuals facing psychological disorders.

“Such people are prone to self-destructive actions and may harm others.”

The MoU, Atchariya explained, is a multifaceted strategy encompassing preventive measures, pre-hospital care, in-hospital care, and inter-facility transfer. This holistic approach aims to offer support and intervention at every stage for those who are mentally unstable.

The collaboration represents a paradigm shift in addressing mental health within the criminal justice system. By integrating efforts between the police force and public health agencies, the initiative not only seeks to prevent potential harm but also to extend a helping hand to those struggling with mental health issues, reported Bangkok Post.

The Strengthening Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Systems and Services for Children and Adolescents in East Asia and Pacific Region: Thailand Country Report 2022, conducted by UNICEF, the Ministry of Public Health, the Institute for Population and Social Research, and Burnet Institute, reveals that approximately 1 in 7 adolescents aged 10 to 19 and 1 in 14 children aged five to nine in Thailand suffer from mental health disorders.

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