Leading Speaker for Nursing Conferences 2019- Kwaunpanomporn Thummathai

Title: How to Prevent Depression in Thai Adolescents based on Buddhism and Sufficiency Economy Philosophy

Kwaunpanomporn Thummathai

Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Biography

Assistant Prof. Dr. Kwaunpanomporn Thummathai has served as a principal investigator on research projects focusing on adolescent and adult psychological problems with youth populations, particularly prevention of the mental health problems in child and adolescent population. She conducted dissertation study entitled “Development of participatory depression prevention model for Thai adolescents.” She will take this work to the next level and further study how to develop a more advanced and appropriately clinical practice in order to provide collaborative care management with comprehensive integrative prevention interventions. Recently, her research team developed multimedia for preventing Thai teen depression.

Abstract

Depression among adolescents can affect learning performance and quality of life, and increase suicidal risk. Depression prevention intervention by adolescents, parents, and teachers at the early onset of adolescent depression is thus important. The findings of studies on development of participatory depression prevention model and multimedia for preventing Thai teenage depression indicated that the critical component of depression prevention intervention for adolescents is self-worth enhancement. Self-worth enhancement comprise of self-esteem, relaxation, and problem solving based on Buddhism and Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP). Adolescent’s self-esteem can be improved through developing of their courage and ability to appreciate themselves as well as their parents, teachers, and friends. Additionally, relaxation for emotional balancing, the adolescents, parents, and teachers are able to relax by joining activities of their preference to promote positive feelings and reduce the risk of depression. Furthermore, problem solving based on principles of Buddhism and SEP was discussed among the participants. The SEP principles are bestowed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King Rama IX of Thailand, and the underpinning of the Buddhist principle of the middle path as an intervening principle. The participants mentioned that those principles can be applied for depression prevention in adolescents. They should essentially accept the problem related to adolescent depression and also collaborate on developing solutions by using sufficiency, reasonableness, and self-immunity under the principles of SEP and Buddhism. Based on the Buddhism view, termination of depression is possible through proper knowledge and practice of the Noble Eightfold Path which includes right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. In the Middle Path principle, people establish integrity, learn to see with wisdom, and learn to see the right view to accept the fact of suffering. This practice can help people find wakefulness, let go of individuals’ reactions, experience freedom in the midst of joys and sorrows, and neither grasp nor resist life, all of which give freedom from depression and lead to attainment of peace of mind. Therefore, self-worth enhancement based on Buddhism and the SEP principles is valuable to develop mindfulness, self-awareness, and the capability to cope with problems. These provide the resources for balancing of emotions in order to enhancement of adolescents’ feeling of self-worth and act as an immunity mechanism offers the prospects of depression prevention for Thai adolescents.