The Police reported that a man who was previously rushed to the hospital during a recent fire incident that occurred in Medalaii on Friday night, April 12, had allegedly attempted to take his own life.

The man (name concealed for his mental well-being), 31, allegedly ignited the fire that razed his own residence, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Justice Public Information Officer Keiden Kintol.

Based on the police report, authorities received a call at around 7pm of the same date notifying them that a fire was burning close to the said residential house. Shortly after, another caller notified them that another fire was also set in the kitchen area of the same house. Another caller also reported seeing the man allegedly inflicting self-harm.

Police then responded to the scene at around 7pm and found that some witnesses had managed to rescue the man from trying to harm himself.

An actual video of the incident that was shared to Island Times showed four men apparently lifting the man away from the burning building.

The men then put him on the ground near the police car. He was then rushed by the authorities to the hospital for immediate treatment. As of this writing, the man remained to be at the hospital.

According to the police, three fire trucks were used to extinguish the fire which was eventually declared out by around 9pm.

In our previous report, the Ministry of Health’s Division of Behavioral Health had underscored the importance of listening to people who open up about and show suicidal tendencies, explaining further that talking about suicide actually makes them think twice about doing it.

Dr. Constantine Dela Cruz, a Filipino psychiatrist at the Division of Behavioral Health, told the media during a press conference last year that he observed how talking about suicide is considered a taboo by locals here.

“When we encounter patients who have suicidal tendencies, it is important that we should be aware [that] by talking about it, we are not actually pushing the person to commit suicide but we are making them think twice about it,” Dela Cruz said.

Listening to the patient is actually the first step to reaching out to them, Dela Cruz said, adding that if one feels that he or she cannot handle the weight of the things being divulged by a patient, they can always refer the person to the counselors or the psychiatrists.

Dela Cruz also said that they wanted to involve the family on mental health matters, hence, they are conducting family meeting and have been in coordination with the school officials.

The Palau Behavioral Advisory Council (PBAC) has a 24/7 hotline available for those who want to ask for help. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)