See More on Facebook

Opinion

Ease trapped boys back into normal life

A child psychologist offers advice on easing the cave-trapped boys in Thailand back into normal life while they await rescue.


Written by

Updated: July 4, 2018

A psychiatrist who specialises in child and adolescent issues offered guidelines on Wednesday by which the 12 young footballers trapped in the Chiang Rai cave can avoid lingering trauma over their ordeal.

Dr Wimonrat Wanpen, deputy director of the Rajanagarindra Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, said the earliest signs were good, based on the brief conversation the youngsters had with the British cave rescue experts who found them and videotaped the encounter.

The boys seemed happy, she said, but nothing else can be concluded at this stage.

Their mental condition after days of being trapped in the dark, flooded cave could swing, Wimonrat said.

“While they were waiting for help, they might at times have felt angry at having to undergo such an ordeal and at other times despair, and then they’d become hopeful that help was on the way,” she said.

“They might have been mentally bargaining with themselves – ‘If I get out, I won’t do this or that and I’ll be good’ – or whatever. Children face different mental impacts because of their different backgrounds and emotional makeup.”

Once they’re brought out, the focus must be on their physical recovery, and their mental state can be addressed later, Wimonrat said.

By way of guidelines for their eventual treatment, she said they should not be asked repeatedly how awful they felt during the ordeal because it would force them to relive the trauma.

Youngsters rescued from dangerous situations naturally feel immense stress in the first month, but if the stress lingers beyond that, additional care would be needed.

She said it’s important to let the kids resume their normal lives, and for their families to also receive mental healthcare, since they might blame themselves for what happened.

The children’s access to social media should be controlled so they’re not overly exposed to public comments about them, even positive comments.

“These kids have undergone a difficult experience, so there’s no need to do any more teaching or preaching to them,” Wimonrat said.

“If you were in their shoes, having accidentally made a mistake that caused so many people a lot of trouble, you would already feel guilty and sorry enough. What the children have been through in the cave is sufficient lesson for them. They already know they made a mistake. This will be a great lesson for them.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Opinion

China slams outside meddling, provocation in South China Sea

China called upon states bordering the South China Sea to jointly work with Beijing to guard against external interference and disruption. Some countries outside the region constantly stir up trouble and brandish forces in the South China Sea, which goes against efforts made by China, the Philippines and other regional states to maintain peace and promote mutually beneficial cooperation, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr in the southern Philippine city of Davao. Regional countries should remain vigilant against such interference, and continue deepening solidarity and cooperation to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, and not leave any opportunity for outside forces to exploit the situation, he said. Wang said China will discuss with the Philippines joint exploration of oil and


By China Daily
October 30, 2018

Opinion

A word against regulation

Regulation of social media, like regulation of the press, should not be attempted less it offer another way for despots to control their population. When the printing press first began spreading throughout Europe in the 15thand 16thcenturies, it brought with it a revolution in and democratization of ideas. Scripture and scientific text were spread rapidly and was readily accessible to the masses for the first time. The church’s role as the gatekeepers and purveyors of information lessened with the advent of new technology. Upheaval was not far behind and the printing press played a central role in the reformation led by Martin Luther and the split of the Catholic Church. At this time, the leadership of the church tried to suppress the dissemination of these ideas and the technology which allowed them to flourish. But their attempts were in vain and the world entered a new epoch, one which eventually g


By Cod Satrusayang
October 29, 2018

Opinion

Asia News Network calls for the immediate release of the three Eleven Media editors 

Asia News Network statement on the arrest of Eleven Media senior staff. We, the members of the Asia News Network, express solidarity with our arrested colleagues from Eleven Media Group, Managing Editor Nari Min, Editor in Chief Kyaw Zaw Linn, and Chief Reporter Phyo Wai Win and condemn their arrest under provisions of the law that allow no bail. All three were arrested on October 10 in Yangon for their investigation and coverage of the controversial business ventures of the Yangon Regional Government. They were charged under Article 505 (b) of Myanmar’s Penal Code, which does not allow the grant of bail and carries a maximum punishment of two years imprisonment. Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 leading media in 20 Asian countries, stands by the three journalists – not because the Yangon Regional


By ANN Members
October 12, 2018

Opinion

The Marcos family’s last gasp

With President Duterte in power, the Marcos family is ascendant in Philippine national politics again. The remains of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos have been buried at the national heroes’ cemetery; his only son and namesake has a live election protest against the incumbent vice president; his eldest daughter Imee, the governor of his home province of Ilocos Norte, is polling well among likely candidates for the Senate; and his wife Imelda, at 89, is on her third term as representative of the Marcos’ old congressional bailiwick. But despite the obvious support of a still-popular president and a slick, long-running, well-funded social media operation promoting the Marcos worldview, the Duterte era may turn out to be the Marcos family’s last gasp. These years may be their last opportunity to win back the presidency and everything that goes with it. It will certainly not be for lack of trying, o


By ANN Members
October 8, 2018

Opinion

Pakistan has a Saudi Arabia question it needs to answer

Pakistan needs Saudi money but not its geopolitics. The long-standing strategic alliance between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia has taken on a new dimension with prospects of the kingdom participating in CPEC projects. The Saudis have reportedly also shown an interest in investing in the oil, energy and mineral sectors. The new Pakistani government is looking to Riyadh to bail it out of its financial woes. It is evident that the chill in relations between the two allies in recent years has diminished. It was significant that Prime Minister Imran Khan chose Riyadh for his first foreign visit within four weeks of coming to power, thus breaking his pledge of not travelling abroad in his first three months in office. The warm welcome given to the new Pakistani prime minister signalled a fresh beginning and t


By Dawn
October 4, 2018

Opinion

Dialogue is only way to resolve Kashmir issue

The only way to end an ongoing, bloody conflict in Kashmir is for both sides to come to the table. India and Pakistan will not talk. Pakistan wants to talk “Kashmir”. India wants to talk “terror”. Yet they will not talk. The baggage of history weighs heavy on us. The status quo stays. Kashmir bleeds and we the people of Kashmir will continue to pay a heavy price. Not that the people of India and Pakistan will not pay. Of course they too will. We are all paying a high price for this utterly mindless status quo which is seen as politically safe by the ruling elite (whether in power or out of power) in India and in Pakistan. Any shift is compromise which amounts to treason. For the past seven decades the people of Kashmir remain trapped in this rhetoric of the status quo, living a life of bondage in the world


By Dawn
October 1, 2018