The Malta Independent 4 December 2021, Saturday

Man urged to jump off bastions by onlookers in shocking scenes in Valletta, police investigating

Friday, 19 November 2021, 13:05 Last update: about 14 days ago

Shocking comments were directed to a man who climbed on the bastion of Hastings Garden in Valletta on Friday morning, as reported by the Times of Malta.

In a video posted on the Times, several of the onlookers passed disturbing comments encouraging the man to jump from the bastion.

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The crowd which formed on Valletta City Gate's bridge was being dispersed by police officers who were also attempting to get the situation under control by trying to calm the agitated man.

Some of the unsympathetic crowd told the man to get on with it so that the crowd could see him "smash to the ground," the video shows.

Other bystanders took the matter more seriously by angrily condemning the crowd for their behaviour.

The police are reportedly investigating the video to determine whether some of those who encouraged the man to jump have committed a crime. Assisting in a suicide could carry a prison sentence of up to 12 years.

COO of the Richmond Foundation Daniela Calleja Bitar criticised the crowd, saying that nobody should encourage somebody to jump but rather immediately call emergency services.

In a statement, the Alliance for Mental Health said it is deeply disturbed by the behaviour of the persons in the footage while a distressed person was considering taking his own life.

We need to educate the general public that anyone on any ‘ledge’ is to be listened to, heard and helped.No one stands on the ledge 'for attention', any person who puts themselves on the 'ledge' is in a state of extreme distress. Being sensitive and kind towards all those around us is what prevents suicide,” it said.

Any suicide attempt is to be dealt with the utmost care and respect because every life matters.

A4MH thank
ed the police and emergency services for their hard work and commitment towards suicide prevention.

The Maltese Association for Social Workers categorically also deplored the "public insensitivity" shown in the capital city Valletta towards a person evidently experiencing a most vulnerable moment in his life.

Such acts are to be condemned. This shows that as a society, we still have a long way to go in regards to Mental Health Awareness.

People experiencing crises in their lives are to be supported to seek appropriate support, which is widely available. MASW also showed appreciation towards the response teams who have swiftly acted to support this person.


Victim Support Malta, in cooperation with the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity provides Suicide Prevention, Outreach and Therapeutic Services (SPOT) to support and assist those who have been affected by suicide as well as individuals who have had a suicidal attempt or plan 6 months prior. If you have been affected by suicide, and would like to access our SPOT services, get in touch with us by contacting Victim Support Malta on + 356 2122 8333 or send us an email on [email protected]

 


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