Prevalence of Psychological Distress and Mental Health Problems among the Survivors in the Flash Floods and Landslide in Southern Thailand
Keywords:Mental health, PTSD, depression, suicide, floods, Thailand
AbstractSignificant evidence has shown that southern Thailand is prone to the highest risk of repeated flooding. However, psychological distress and mental health problems caused by the flash floods and landslides have been under-researched among Thai survivors. This cross-sectional study aimed to explore characteristics and factors associated with the prevalence of psychological distress, probable post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), probable depression, suicide risk, and alcohol problems 4 to 6 months after the flooding. The research examined 326 survivors from households in flooded communities in Nakhon Si Thammarat province during 2011. Descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and a binary logistic regression model were applied to the data representing demographics, household damage, perceived mental health impact, social support and mental health problems. The results showed that the prevalence rate of probable PTSD, probable depression, psychological distress, suicide risk, and alcohol problems were 44.48, 31.29, 29.45, 17.18 and 4.60 %, respectively. Risk factors that variously affected those mental health problems were age, gender, prior physical condition, perception of mental health impacts, skin infection, and injury incurred during the flood. On the other hand, a significant protective factor was the degree of social support. Results suggest that rapid actions should be taken immediately after flooding, especially management with the risk survivor group and promotion of social support to minimize the mental health impacts associated with the flooding.
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