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Mental health disorder therapeutic modalities modified for the GMS

Public Release: 01-DEC-2017

This article by Asst. Prof. Tipsuda Sumneangsanor, Asst. Prof. Dr. Sararud Vuthiarpa, and Asst. Prof. Dr. Chomchueun Somprasert is published in Current Psychiatry Reviews, Volume 13, 2017

Mental health disorders can affect physical and psychological behaviors. The people of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) have a high risk of mental health disorders, such as depression, stress, and substance abuse because the people in this region are sometimes trafficked for forced sex work and various forms of forced labor. In these situations, the victims often endure violence and abuse from trafficking recruiters, employers, and other individuals. The purposes of this study were to identify the elements characterizing mental health disorders, especially in terms of depression, stress, and substance abuse, and to identify treatment modalities for mental health disorders in the GMS.

A comparative analysis of the literature, reviews of epidemiological studies and mental disorder therapies, and overviews of previous research studies were used to generate a synthesis of the existing knowledge of the mental disorder therapeutic modalities. Regarding the treatments of mental health disorders that had empirical support, indicating that the treatment was effective, these included pharmacological and psychological treatments, such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, biofeedback, and music therapy. Useful guidance can be provided for the prevention and treatment of mental health disorders and for the care of people in the Greater Mekong Subregion, developing effective treatment strategies in daily clinical practice that will promote a better quality of life for the people of this region, and allowing them to begin to enjoy their lives again.

Although therapeutic modalities are provided in these countries, there is a barrier that needs to be solved -- this barrier is the lack of trained mental health professionals to provide support and treatment. Therefore, policy should be revised and include training staff in the community to be able to provide effective interventions. Finally, therapeutic modalities can provide useful guidance for the prevention and treatment of mental health disorders and the care of the people in the Greater Mekong Subregion, while developing effective treatment strategies in daily clinical practice and promoting a better quality of life. In addition, the effective interventions should be tested regarding their suitability for the socio-cultural context of the Greater Mekong Subregion.

This article is open access and can be obtained from the link:


Somprasert C. et al. Mental Health Disorder Therapeutic Modalities Modified for the GMS. Current Psychiatry Reviews, 2017, Vol 13, DOI: 10.2174/1573400513666170721102543

Tipsuda Sumneangsanor a*, Sararud Vuthiarpa b, Chomchueun Somprasert b a Ph.D. student, Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University, Thailand b Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University, Thailand

* Address correspondence to the author in the Department of Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing Thammasat University, P.O. Box: 99 Khlong 1, Khlong Luang, Pathumthani, Thailand; Tel/Fax: 66-8986-9213 Ext. 7353; E-mail:,