11 July 2024

About 13.4% of 3,815 psychiatric patients in Thailand were found to have committed acts of violence repeatedly, which means that members of the public need to help to keep an eye on their behaviour, according to Dr. Chumphot Phromsida, deputy director-general of the Department of Mental Health.

His remark was in response to an incident at the annual book fair, held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre last week, when a man with record of being treated for psychiatric problems, later identified as Kanespissanthep Jakkrapobmahadeja, aka “K Roi-laan”, attacked Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Progressive Movement, and claimed, falsely, that he had a bomb.

Dr. Chumphot cited the 2008 Mental Health Act, which authorises officials to have an individual, with a suspected mental disorder and who is prone to violence, sent for psychiatric assessment.

He disclosed that, by September 14th, there had been 3,815 people, all prone to violence, diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and sent for treatment.

Dr. Benjamat Pruekkanont, director of the Office of Secretary of the National Mental Health Commission, meanwhile, disclosed that only 21.83% of the 269 psychiatric patients admitted for rehabilitation in the past year did not commit violence.