Thailand’s tourist’s emotional toll

There is no doubt a huge emotional toll is being taken on tourist stranded in Thailand. People running out of money, missing work in an already shaky job market at home, can really do a number on a persons head. In short, Thailand is starting to look like Mr. Smith’s version of the Matrix in the final battle scene at the end of “The Matrix” trilogy.

In light of the potential mental health fallout, the Thai Psychiatrist Association in conjunction with members of the Red Cross Association are this weekend doing an initial assessment on the psychological problems and number of people who have been affected. This assessment will be done in Pattaya as that is were several stranded tourists are being housed.

No doubt the range of emotions will be from despair to desperation. Seeing as many of the tourist are from western countries, a notice has gone out to international school counselors and the few private western counselors asking for their assistance. No doubt there is a potential mental health triage ward in the making in Pattaya.

Pattaya was chosen because of it’s proximity to both Bangkok and the Utapao Airport being used as an alternate emergency airport.

This now involves virtually every government that flies in and out of Bangkok as their citizens are now being effected by Thailand’s civil war. In this case there is no right or wrong, just the effect. Many countries can not publically take sides in Thailand’s civil war. All they can do is help tend to their stranded citizens through their embassies located in Thailand.

It is unfortunate that this has escalated this far, but one can hardly criticize the pro Monarchy supporters. For the last several weeks they have been target practice from the pro Thaksin group. With hundreds wounded and some dead, the reaction was somewhat predicted. No doubt when this is over there will be the need for the Thai mental health doctors to tend to the Thai people as well.

As in any war there is an emotional toll. In this case the problem can be traced back to Thaksin Shinawatra. That may result in him being denied entry in even more countries for being the ultimate cause of harming their citizens.

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