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Mental Health Disorders No Longer a Bar to Public Service in Thailand

New Policy Approved: Mental Health Disorders No Longer a Bar to Public Service in Thailand

Decoding the Ground-breaking Decision

In a landmark move that aligns with international human rights principles and anti-discriminatory practices, the Thai Cabinet has approved removing mental and mood disorders from the list of diseases that disqualify individuals from public service.

Advocating Inclusivity in Public Service

Ratchada Thanadirek, Deputy Government Spokeswoman, revealed this development following a cabinet meeting.

The decision came as part of an ongoing discussion on the proposal presented by the Civil Service Commission Office concerning the regulation of diseases.

The new policy permits individuals diagnosed with Psychosis or Mood Disorders to serve in public roles provided their symptoms are not severe or chronic enough to obstruct their professional responsibilities.

This decision is a giant leap forward, breaking down the barriers created by misunderstandings and misconceptions that individuals with such disorders are incapable of performing any work.

Emphasizing Human Rights and Constitutional Principles

This policy amendment aims to establish rules that adhere to human rights principles and the non-discriminatory clauses of the Constitution.

By approving this proposal, the Thai Cabinet not only amends the previous regulation on diseases but also eradicates the categorization of Psychosis and Mood Disorders as disabling factors for public service roles.

However, the regulation retains certain diseases that still restrict individuals from public service.

These include:

  • Elephantiasis, when presents visibly disturbing symptoms.
  • Drug addiction.
  • Chronic alcoholism.
  • Serious or chronic communicable diseases or severe diseases can inhibit the ability to perform duties.

The procedure for screening these diseases follows the guidelines and methods prescribed by the Medical Committee of the Civil Service Commission.

A Path to Progressive Change

The new regulation will come into effect 60 days after being announced in the Royal Gazette. This progressive policy reform endorses the concept of inclusivity and equality, challenging the previously held misconceptions about mental and mood disorders and their impact on one’s professional capabilities.

This article marks a significant step forward in understanding and addressing mental health issues, particularly in the professional sector, helping to reduce stigma and discrimination.



Relevant resources:   World Health Organization (WHO) on Mental Health Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness

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