Shirtless Patong man scares people with machete

Police arrest shirtless Patong man with machete, photo by The Phuket Express.

A shirtless Patong man scared locals and tourists by walking around and swaying a machete back and forth. Patong Police arrested the man yesterday morning near the Suwan Khiriwing Temple (Patong Temple).

Officers found the shirtless man swaying the machete and wandering aimlessly in the area. Residents were scared since there is a large number of tourists in the area.

The man was identified as an individual with psychiatric issues who was already familiar to law enforcement, The Phuket Express reported.

He was subsequently transported to the Patong Police Station where it is expected that he would be transferred to a psychiatric facility for an evaluation. The individual’s name has been withheld by police in consideration of his mental health condition.

This news comes after another recent incident in Patong involving a man with mental health issues causing a disturbance.

On March 23, a man in Patong was brought to a psychiatric hospital after he disturbed his neighbours with his erratic behaviour. The man was reportedly acting crazy in his apartment on Ratchapathanusorn Road and possibly presented a danger to himself and others.

In September last year, it was reported that the number of cases of major depressive disorders was rising in Thailand. The country’s mental health department was looking to push for the inclusion of psychiatric drugs on Thailand’s list of essential medicines.

According to a report by Thai PBS in October, Thailand’s insufficient number of psychiatrists is resulting in many individuals with mental health issues being left untreated.

With only 845 active psychiatrists in the country, Thailand has an average of only one psychiatrist for every 100,000 individuals. However, it is estimated that one in every 2,721 people in Thailand requires counselling, highlighting a significant shortage of mental health professionals. In comparison, Switzerland has 47.17 psychiatrists for every 100,000 individuals, which is a substantially higher number.

Their major workload means that psychiatric therapists in Thailand’s state hospitals have limited time to devote to each patient.

Phuket News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.