Thammasat University (TU) has joined the project where COVID-19 patients who have recovered are counseled and prepared for home quarantine. The application Clicknic is used as a platform for the volunteered social workers to communicate with the patients to take care of them through counseling sessions making sure they are mentally prepared and can get through the post-recovery self-quarantine.
Dr. Khajeerat Prakego, Director of Health Systems Development Support, Thai Health Promotion Foundation (Thai Health), said that this partnership support project is a project that Thai Health works with the partners; Faculty of Social Administration Thammasat University, Social Work Professions Council, Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and Clinic Telemedicine.
“To make this project happens, we, at Thai Health have integrated the Healthcare System for Health Promotion program and Mental Health Promotion program together. We are recruiting volunteer psychologists and social workers, to join the program. Every volunteer will have to pass an online demonstration and seminar to make sure that they are qualified before actually talking to the patients. In the future, there will be more and more patients recovered from COVID-19. So, we hope that this project will set a good example for other hospitals,” Dr. Khajeerat said.
Prof. Rapeepan Kumhom, Dean of the Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University says “Thammasat joined this program after the Thammasat field hospital project. We understand the importance of counseling sessions to the patients, because after the recovery patients are more likely to suffer from stress and low self-esteem.”
“The volunteers will be building the self-esteem of the patients as well as educate those surrounding them about how to protect both themselves and the patients from an infection or re-infection. They will also focus on teaching those around the patients about how to give mental supports to the patients since they have the strongest influence on the patients. Some of the suggestions often made by the volunteers are that the patients should find activities to keep themselves occupied so they don’t focus too much on the outbreak news report because it could result in a high level of anxiety or stress.”
“There are around 40 patients that have returned home from the hospital. Some of them are having a really hard time dealing with their anxiety. They are afraid that others would know that they have been infected and would not accept them. In these cases, the volunteer will host a counseling session to cheer them up and give them advice on how to deal with their emotions, especially those who live alone because it is harder for them to control their thoughts. This project is a good way to help the patients returned to society, so we can prevent the patients from stress and the thought of committing suicide like those we might have heard of. It is a very well thought out project by the Thai Health and the partners, bringing the service to the people by giving advice and spread the words about where they can ask for help. This project is a really good way to reduces the gap between the people and the government service.” Prof. Rapeepan says.