**At the original time of publishing, sources indicated the man indicated below was a Turkish citizen. This information has been confirmed to be false, and the man in question is, in reality, a UK citizen**
Civil service officers in Bali have detained a man after he was causing distress to residents. The name, known by his initials AM, is 39 years old and had been staying near Pererenan Beach. He was arrested by local authorities on Thursday, 19th January, and further details of his case were revealed to the media over the weekend. It is believed that AM is suffering from mental illness, and after questioning, officers escorted him to a medical facility for treatment.
The Head of Badung Satpol PP, I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara, told reporters that AM has been detained by police after reports from concerned local residents. He had been seen on multiple occasions wandering in the Pererenan in Canggu without wearing any clothes and, on a few occasions, was heard screaming and shouting from his villa. Residents have described how they heard him going ‘berserk’ in his room. Concerned for his well-being and public safety, residents called the police for help.
One local resident explained to reporters, “Allegedly, he didn’t have any money, so he became increasingly depressed and noisy. He even took off his towel and stood naked while angry.”
Suryanegara explained, “Due to the public’s unrest, the team on Thursday afternoon took action. When secured, the foreigner was walking around without wearing a single shirt. Thankfully, when he was persuaded, he didn’t put up a fight and was direct”. He was taken to Badung Civil Service Offices for questioning. Suryanegara continued, “When questioned, he was also quite cooperative. The team then took him to the hospital for further examination”.
Officers believe that AM is suffering from a manic episode, though they have not confirmed his diagnosis publicly. He remains in the hospital and is receiving appropriate care. Suryanegara later revealed that AM is not the only person his teams have had to help over the last few weeks. He confirmed that his teams have detained another foreign tourist, an American, and a local citizen in separate incidences.
According to Suryanegara, the American tourist was detailed in the Labuan Sait area of South Kuta on the 15th of January. The Indonesian citizen is believed to have come to Bali from Sumatra and was met by police in the central Kuta area.
Suryanegara was unable to say what mental health issues they were experiencing but confirmed that they are both receiving treatment. Suryanegara said, “[as for the foreigners, we] take them to the hospital. Meanwhile, the Indonesian citizens have been handed over to Bangli Hospital.”
In the past, there have been substantiated reports of victims of mental health disorders receiving abusive treatment in Indonesia, and according to the World Health Organisation, 93% of mental health support services closed down in Indonesia in 2020 due to the pandemic. Yet, in Bali, there are a series of facilities, networks, and resources available for locals and foreigners suffering from mental health disorders or mental distress.
NGOs like the LISA Helpline help support community members suffering from mental illness in accessing the care and support they need. LISA stands for Love Inside Suicide Awareness. They are the team behind Bali’s 24-hour suicide hotline, which offers support to both Bahasa Indonesia and English speakers. The hotline is currently closed, pending relaunch soon, though 24/7 support can be found on their website, with access to emergency facilities across Bali.
The website features a directory of services, including psychologists, psychiatrists, hospitals, and other emergency services in Bali. Though the hotline is often referred to as the suicide prevention hotline, when it opens again soon, operators will be trained to help callers with full spectrum mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, domestic violence, fried and loss, addictions, and more.
The 24-hour hotline will relaunch soon; for now, the website is live. LISA Helpine is currently recruiting volunteers to operate the phone line. Full training is offered by their NGO partner Bali Bersama Bisa.
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