UNICEF, Department of Mental Health, JOOX launch ‘The Sound of Happiness’
to promote mental health among adolescents in Thailand
BANGKOK, 16 July 2020 – UNICEF Thailand, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and JOOX Thailand launched The Sound of Happiness campaign today to help children and adolescents cope with issues affecting their mental health and well-being.
The campaign features 12 podcast episodes led by prominent mental health experts from DMH, including Dr. Varoth Chotpitayasunondh and Dr. Wimonrat Wanpen, who will share factually-correct information and guidance on a wide range of topics relevant to adolescents such as depression, stress, relationships, emotional management, bullying, gender identity and sexual orientation. In addition to providing guidance and support, the campaign promotes a number of professional mental health services that are youth-friendly.
Starting on July 16 and broadcast every Thursday at 7.30 p.m. on JOOX, a leading music community platform owned by Tencent (Thailand) Company Limited, each episode features well-known celebrities and influencers such as Peck Palitchoke, Bright Win, BamBam GOT7, Milli, Pearwah Nichaphat, Softpomz, Pompam, Fahsai Paweensuda, LoukGolf Kanatip, Bank Thiti, Wonderframe and Min Pechaya who will share their experiences in facing different challenges throughout their adolescence.
“Mental health conditions often surface during the second decade of life and could last into adulthood,” said Thomas Davin, UNICEF Representative for Thailand. “Yet, adolescent mental health is often overlooked. Most adolescents do not have access to information that can guide them to effectively manage their emotions or mental health, and mental health services specialized for adolescents are still limited.”
Davin added that, in addition to adolescents, the campaign also targets parents and adults, who can make a huge difference in adolescent mental health well-being by creating an enabling and supportive environment. The campaign aims to address negative perceptions around mental health and encourage young people to talk about mental health challenges with their friends and family or someone they trust.
In Thailand, an increasing number of adolescents are experiencing mental health problems such as stress, depression and anxiety, and suicide is the leading cause of death among adolescents. According to DMH, 800 adolescents and young people aged 10-29 years old committed suicide in 2019. Data from DMH also shows that one-fourth of all callers seeking mental health support via Hotline 1323 in 2018 were young people aged 10-21 years old.
Dr. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, Director-General of DMH at the Ministry of Public Health, said, “DMH has a mission to promote mental health well-being and provide comprehensive mental health care for people in Thailand, including children and adolescents. We have been working with partners, including government agencies, the private sector, civil society and international organizations, to reach more adolescents with innovative solutions via online platforms and social media, as well as music, influencers and idols. We aim to promote awareness and deliver factually-correct mental health information to equip young people with positive energy and promote resilience to help them cope with challenges affecting their mental health. This will help address stress, depression and suicide, which is the main objective in promoting mental health care in Thailand.”
The Sound of Happiness will also feature a special episode in which a group of adolescents, including a young mental health activist, youth with disabilities and LGBTIQ youth, reflect on topics discussed in the podcast that resonate with them. Facilitated by a mental health expert, the special episode allows adolescents to directly share their thoughts based on their own experience and background.
Ms. Patcharaporn Kwancharoensub, Head of Branding and Communication at Tencent and an executive at JOOX, said, “Over the past four years, JOOX as a music community platform has consistently delivered an unrivalled music experience, dedicating itself to bringing happiness and entertainment to all users, especially teenagers and young people who overwhelmingly use JOOX. Therefore, we are very pleased to be a part of this project with DMH and UNICEF to support production and provide a media platform for encouraging everyone to turn their attention to adolescent mental health problems. We sincerely hope that our content will reach audiences and bring them happiness, as both the Sound of Happiness variety talk series and podcast can be easily accessed through the JOOX application.”
On top of a podcast, five new songs were exclusively produced by leading Thai artists in support of the Sound of Happiness campaign to deliver messages of encouragement and support to adolescents. Artists participating in the Sound of Happiness Project Album include O Wanyai, Dew Better Weather, To-Mirrr, Zom Marie, ALLY, Kob Flatboy, Lukpeach, Milli, Atta, BlackSheep, WhatChaRaWaLee and Mu Muzu.
The campaign will promote the following mental health service channels available for young people: 1) Hotline 1323, 2) LINE: @KhuiKun, 3) Lovecarestation.com and 4) Mental Health Clinic at general hospitals. The campaign will also mobilize trained youth counsellor volunteers to offer mental health support for adolescents through the I Am UNICEF volunteering platform (https://www.unicef.org/thailand/i-am-unicef).
Listen to the Sound of Happiness variety talk series every Thursday at 7.30 p.m. and the podcast every Saturday at 10 a.m. on JOOX.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.