A lady has spoken out about Singapore’s need to improve awareness of mental illness and how to deal with those struggling with it.
According to a viral post by Kathie Koh, whose older sister is said to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and anxiety disorder, a woman had chosen to shame her mentally ill sibling online and even denigrated the girl by calling her deplorable names.
What apparently happened on Monday was that the lady had been passing by Fajar LRT station with her daughter when she saw Koh’s sister sitting by a staircase. The sister allegedly hurled some coke on the mother, prompting the latter to call the police on her. The cops arrived at the scene and found that the girl had a history as an Institute of Mental Health patient. Police officers then helped Koh’s sister return home.
But here’s the troubling part. Despite knowing that the other party was mentally ill, the woman felt she had the right to take pictures of the girl and post them on Facebook, encouraging everyone to share them. These were accompanied by crude captions that labeled Koh’s sister as a “(c**bai) girl” and a “bitch”, as well as demands that the girl stay at home before she became a hazardous risk to the public.
It was a rather wretched diatribe against those struggling with psychiatric disorders who’re just trying to live normal lives.
“My sister is already having a hard time”
Calling it a “clear example of the lack of education our country still has with mental illness”, Koh wrote a Facebook post of her own to defend her sister. According to Koh, her sister regularly goes out in the neighborhood and is cared for by neighbors who know of her afflictions.
“The lady claims that she just took a glance and due to my sister’s paranoia, she might have misinterpreted the glance to something more aggressive,” Koh explained in regards to why her sister might have acted out.
Koh had no issue with the lady ranting about the altercation and even apologized to her for the girl’s actions. What Koh did take offence with was the fact that the lady publicly posted the identity of the mentally ill girl and chose to insult her despite knowing about her psychiatric struggles.
OP’s own sister speaks out
Ensuing drama unfolded, as is the nature of these online posts. The sister of the lady who made the original post jumped into Koh’s comment thread to defend her actions.
The tide of opinion in the comments section remains on the side of Koh and her sister. It’s important to remember, however, that the main reason why Koh’s post was put up was to raise awareness of the plight faced by the mentally ill.
“My sister is already having a hard time with her condition and I hope this raises awareness of the people facing similar conditions and how we can help.”