Last December, I got a call from a girl. That time, I was studying in kanthari, Kerala India. It was almost midnight and I wondered why she wanted to talk to me.
She called me and told me that she feels stressed and concerned about her high school life. Her friends bully her because she stole her friend’s boyfriend. She feels guilty and doesn’t know how to face her friends again. She blamed her on Facebook, mentioned her name and many friends from the same school shared the post. She felt scared and don’t want to go to school even for her final exam.
Last week, I heard the story about the girl again while I was visiting my hometown. After She jumped school, she ran away from everything and tried to suicide by hanging.
After I heard about her story. Immediately, I felt really shocked and sent her a text. She is still alive but she told me that she couldn’t sleep, feel scared of people and sometimes, she wants to die. I thought that this case is an emergency case because the girl still wants to commit suicide and she can’t sleep. Her behavior sounds like people who have depression. I contacted the main hospital in my hometown to book a private appointment to meet with a psychiatrist because patients in the rural area can’t meet psychiatrists.
Thai government provides doctors for mental health only at the main hospital or the city hospital even though in my hometown the population is more than 1 million. I found that children and youth are not allowed to meet psychiatrist by themselves. We don’t have any hotline for children and the law mentions that doctors need permission from parents to treat children and youth under 18 years.
Next day, I went to the hospital with the girl. She had to travel from her home to the main hospital around 80 kilometers. We spent 5 hours talking with the doctor and the doctor asked me to talk to her parent and told me that I can’t come with her anymore because the doctor wants to talk to her parents. I paid 350 THB or 12 USD for the medical fee. The doctor needs me to help her collect all evidence that can be used to prove to the police that her friends are bullying her on social media for almost a year now and from then till now she didn’t go to school and no one listened to her concerns until she tried committing suicide. I informed the doctor about all the information that I knew and called her parents 8 times but nobody picked up my call. The girl went her home alone and she sent me some evidences. She told me she feels better.
Later, I tried to call the girl’s father again, this time he picked up and he promised me that he will go to the hospital with his daughter. I explained information about depression and reasons to treat his daughter.
Everything went well until her father went with the girl to meet the psychiatrist. He called me and told me he disagrees with psychiatrist because he thinks that his daughter pretends to be sick and he doesn’t have any awareness about depression in children and youth. The girl texted to me that she was cried at the hospital because her father feels angry.
In Thailand, we don’t have a specific hotline for children and youth. Children and youth who have depression face many difficulties with their parents and family members. They need someone to listen to their concern, some of them want to meet a doctor but the law doesn’t allow children and youth under 18 years old to meet a psychiatrist by themselves.
Hinghoy Noy wants to create a safe online platform where children and youth can talk freely about their intimate concern.