Update April 28: Anyakan survived and is recovering at the hospital. She was visited by Finance Ministry representatives who told that they would transfer THB5,000 in aid to her account on Wednesday.
A woman was rushed to the hospital this afternoon after she swallowed rat poison in front of the Ministry of Finance in protest of the government’s handling of financial aid.
Anyakan Booprasert poisoned herself outside the ministry building in north Bangkok after she was denied THB5,000 in government aid which had been promised to “leave no one behind” by the authorities.
A motorbike taxi rider told reporters that the woman had been shouting “no one cares about me” outside a ministry entrance since about noon. She was later seen opening a pill bottle and pouring pink-colored objects into her mouth. She then went into shock and collapsed.
Anyakan was rushed to Phra Mongkutklao Hospital for treatment. Based on their appearance, emergency personnel assumed the pills were rat poison.
Anyakan’s attempted suicide is the latest in a wave of desperation created by the crisis that has pushed people to want to take their own lives.
Criticism has been leveled at the authorities for being unable to pay THB5,000 stipends they promised to those on the lowest rungs of society, Many informal workers who believed they were eligible have been rejected by the ministry. A number of such cases it blamed on automated applicant screening.
Several dozen suicides have been linked to the COVID-19 crisis throughout the kingdom, with health officials saying last week that the national mental health hotline has been overwhelmed by calls.
If you are considering harming yourself, please reach out for help. Assistance is available around the clock from the Mental Health Department’s 1323 hotline (for Thai speakers) or the Samaritans of Thailand at 02-713-6793 (for Thai speakers), and 02-713-6791 (for English speakers).