Thammasat University cooperated with the Office of the Thailand Promotion Foundation (THPF) to develop social support guidelines. Social service officers developed the Psychological-Psychosocial Support Booklet for Children and Families during COVID-19 for social service officers to use as a tool for working with children in communities and children with family members who are infected with COVID-19. The THPH plans to expand volunteer social service officer services to primary care units in order to create coverage of service in the dimensions of prevention and continual support at the community level.
Dr. Kanitta Buranapansak, Head of Social Services, Thammasat University Hospital, stated that the expansion of results from the project to develop capacity, social care models and empower communities to monitor care and social management for patients, a booklet on social care for COVID-patients in the community and a booklet for social workers on social care for COVID-19 patients will soon be prepared.
“What everyone found is that there is already stress and anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, more than that, COVID-19 changed lifestyles. After having COVID-19, patients who return home to be quarantined were concerned about quarantine facilities, fearful of infecting people at home, patients or children. In most problems, more than 50 percent of the patients were family leaders and the main workforce who had to be dismissed from work, lose income or have difficult livelihoods, separation from loved ones and fear of losing loved ones. In addition, persons with high health risks such as patients with chronic illnesses, disabilities and children had mental health problems. Currently, there are many cases not accepted by communities back in society, particularly cases living in condominiums who the team has to help care for and create understanding”, Dr. Kanitta said.
Dr. Kajeerat Prak-eko, Director of the Bureau of Health System Development Support, stated that volunteer social service officers will work as mentors to help cured COVID-19 patients to become volunteers in providing consultation to reduce stigmatization among new patients at Thammasat Field Hospital and patients in the area of Pathumthani. We found that the work of these leaders can reach patients and gain significant trust from fellow patients. The THPH is also ready to support improvement and expansion of results from these leaders at a later stage.
The Psychological and Psychosocial Support Booklet for Children and Families at the Community Level during the COVID-19 Pandemic can be downloaded from https://www.thaihealth.or.th/Books/721/การสนับสนุนทางจิตใจและจิตสังคมสำหรับเด็กและครอบครัวระดับชุมชนในภาวะการระบาดโควิด-19.html.