KLANG: The fire department rushed to a high-rise apartment in Damansara, Petaling Jaya last week to rescue a woman who was dangling her dog from the bedroom window of her 14th floor unit.
The 37-year-old woman, who only lived with her two dogs, had been acting strangely for over three weeks, according to a neighbor who refused her name.
“She screamed from her bedroom window a couple of times a day and then started throwing things out the window,” said the neighbor
“First it was a couple of playing cards and CDs and then she started throwing small pieces of furniture and appliances out the window,” he added.
He said neighbors reported this to the housing management committee and security guards and was told to stop shouting and throwing objects.
The security company also filed a complaint with the police, and police officers visited her twice and asked the woman to stop screaming and throwing things out of the window or they risk arrest.
“The police also said that at least one resident has to file a complaint and only then they (the police) can do something, but nobody who lives there wanted to do it,” said the neighbor.
Finally, the neighbors were alerted when a resident of the block across from the women’s section shared a video he had recorded of her pet Shih Tzu dangling out of the window.
One of the neighbors then contacted an animal welfare group and told how the woman dangled her dog from a window on the 14th floor.
After learning that the woman had acted strangely, the dog protection group volunteer put him in contact with the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA).
MMHA executive director Cheong Sue Jen said when the neighbor called her she advised her to call the emergency number and tell them that the woman was showing signs of harming herself.
“You have to be clear when looking for help and it was obvious here that the woman was in need and could harm herself,” said Cheong.
A short time later, the housing management called the emergency number, a patrol car, a fire engine and an ambulance rushed to the scene and the woman was taken from her apartment and taken to the hospital.
“We were told she was being admitted to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment,” the neighbor said, adding that the women’s two pets, Shih Tzus, were being temporarily looked after by another neighbor.
Meanwhile, MMHA President Datuk told Dr. Andrew Mohanraj that the woman’s strange behavior in the three weeks prior to her rescue could be due to a combination of factors such as isolation and economic and social stressors that led to her being mentally decompensated.
“It could also have been due to the exacerbation of an existing mental illness from the current stressful circumstances. Unfortunately, neighbors, security guards and even the police did not interpret their strange behavior as a sign of psychological discomfort, ”said Dr. Mohanraj, who is also the President of the Selangor Mental Health Association (SMHA).
He added that the public needs to be aware of suicidal behavior.
According to Dr. Mohanraj, the SMH, in collaboration with Persatuan Green Ribbon Malaysia, will launch a suicide prevention awareness program for resident associations, high-rise residence management committees and Rukun Tetangga.
He added that this would enable the public to identify suicidal tendencies and seek appropriate help to prevent undesirable incidents.
It was reported that in the first five months of 2021, the number of suicides in the country rose to 468.
Most of those who committed suicide were under 40 years of age.
People in need of help and advice can contact: Psychosocial Mental Health Advisory Service (03-2935 9935 or 014-322 3392); Talian Kasih (15999 or WhatsApp 019-261 5999); Jakims Family, Social and Community Care Center (WhatsApp 0111-959 8214); and Befrienders Kuala Lumpur (03-7627 2929 or visit www.befrienders.org.my/centre-in-malaysia for a full list of numbers and hours of operation).