BANGKOK – The mass shooting over the weekend in Nakhon Ratchasima province can have had an adverse impact on people’s mental health. According to the Department of Mental Health, 91 patients suffered high stress and nine others were in severe stress, following the incident. Meanwhile, families and relatives of the victims the bodies of their loved ones from Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital and other hospitals in the northeastern province.
The Director-General of the Department of Mental Health, Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, visited the injured and implemented rehabilitation measures to aid those affected by the incident. Between February 8 and 10, 2020, 91 people out of 247 cases suffered high levels of stress and nine others were in severe stress. Other patients had a moderate level of stress. They are now under close supervision of doctors.
“We went to see those involved. Overall, we examined 247 cases and found that 36% suffered high levels of stress. We have never experienced so many before, taking the tsunami and flood disasters into account. During the flood disaster, we saw only 2 to 3% of high and severe stress. Now, it’s 36%. We’ll have to see if they will suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts. Following the assessment, we will work to heal their mental health and provide guidance to relieve their psychological distress. We will ease and manage their stress. To look after their mental health, we understand that the issue is related to violence. It can have a major impact on their mental health, especially in children and teenagers who were caught in the situation. There are four phases of care. The first phase is within 72 hours. The first day will be intensive. Other phases will be within two weeks, within six months and after six months.”
The Department of Mental Health has warned the media about repeatedly presenting news and information on certain issues and interviewing victims of a traumatic event, saying they can affect people’s mental health and lead to the imitation of such behavior. Following the shooting in Nakhon Ratchasima, there were posts imitating the attacker’s behavior on social media. The media should be mindful about the content they are presenting. A study conducted in the United States showed that repeated exposure to specific media content can result in behavioral imitation.