There are two impetuses for supporting Mental Health.
Firstly there is an interest to support research Autism and related mental disabilities in children. It turned out that the research and development support will be in the field of Fragile X Symptom, a relatively little known mental disability in Thailand and the region.
Secondly, through Vipassana Mindfulness Meditation, it was found that the Complete Full Meditation Technique developed at Vipassana Meditation Center for Mind Development at Trang resulted in a reversal of aging symptoms. It is conjectured that this technique will be applicable for not only old age but also other mental disorders such as Parkinson, Hyper Tension and Stress, etc.
The Foundation supports King Mongkhut Institute of Technology (KMITL) for its Fragile X Program to determine the prevalence among the Thai population, the development of screening technology locally in Thailand to avoid buying foreign detection kits, and the prototype psychological support systems for those affected and their families. Fragile X symptoms include intellectual disabilities ranging from mild to severe, attention deficit and hyperactivity especially in young children, anxiety and unstable mood, autistic behaviors such as hand-flapping and not making eye contact, and sensory integration problems such as hypersensitivity to loud noises or bright lights. Conservative estimates report that fragile X syndrome affects approximately 1 in 2,500 – 4,000 males and 1 in 7,000 – 8,000 females. The prevalence of female carrier status has been estimated to be as high as 1 in 130 -250 population; the prevalence of male carrier status is estimated to be 1 in 250 - 800 population. The project is in various stages of approval and is now scheduled for completion by December 2022 faced with some impediments including Covid19.
Leading the project is Dr. Poonnada Jiraanont who is Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine KMITL; she received her PhD from Mahidol University and completed her research under Professor Dr. Flora Tassone of UC Davis MIND Institute, University of California. Professor Tassone is one of the world’s foremost experts on Fragile X Syndrome and is a collaborator of the project of international standard in Thailand.
It is hoped that this project will be of the highest international standard to be an example for other medical research programs in Thailand and lead to the support of the Ministry of Public Health to be applied on a nation-wide basis for the benefit of Thais and also the region. This will not only save the financial cost of life-long caring for Fragile X Syndrome patients but also avoid the mental and emotional suffering of patients and their families. Long term, KMITL hopes to develop a one stop center for diagnosis, treatment and counselling for genetic disorders.
Old Age, Stress, Parkinson, Other Mental Disorders
Both neuro science and dhamma science are based on rigorous observable experiential scientific evidence. The tools of neuro science are the technology of observation and measurement tools, bio medication, surgery, psychology, etc.; the tool of dhamma science is the first-hand knowledge of the mind and body by the mind itself – what the mind is, how the mind works, how the mind can be used as the scalpel to operate mind-surgery on the mind itself, and finally but not necessarily for the meditator to know deeply the dhamma science theory that the body mind process is separate but work interdependently. Whereas neuro science is very incomplete, the ancient oriental dhamma science is complete and consistent in both its application (clinical process of meditation technique) as well as in the Buddhist Theoretical Theory of dhamma science. The connection between neuro science and dhamma science has been shown in many studies set out in Altered Traits How to Change Your Brain, Mind and Body by Coleman & Davidson.
In 2014 a more powerful all-encompassing and more profound methodology of meditation was found. It is not a new way but a Renaissance of the Original Full Uncut Version of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness which is at The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, also the title of the book of the same name by the great German monk Nyanaponika. The teacher is Venerable Prasert Thanangaro; about 95% of his disciples are laypersons.
While it is increasingly being accepted that the practice of the dhamma science (commonly called “meditation”) can complement the biological model of healing, dhamma science in its original complete all-encompassing and more profound methodology can be much more powerful, precise, predictable, and reproducible than the prevalent meditation practices for the treatment of old age, stress, Parkinson, and other mental disorders.