A woman reportedly attempted suicide inside the SM Megamall in the Philippines on Saturday, with reports indicating that she may have jumped from a fourth-floor balcony.
Radio station DZRH News, the Manila Broadcasting Company, reported on Twitter that the mall released a statement saying the incident was under investigation and that the victim was being rushed to the hospital. Citing reporter Val Gonzales, the agency said that the action took place inside Building B at the complex. News of the alleged suicide attempt quickly spread across social media, with some claiming to have witnessed it from inside the center and others saying there was video footage circulating on social media.
There were not yet further details available about the alleged suicide attempt in the SM Megamall, including the condition of the person. Police had not yet released a statement, and the mall had not followed up its initial statement with any update on the alleged victim or the incident itself. That left many turning to social media to seek more information.
The incident took place during what is normally a busy period, with many shoppers making holiday purchases as Christmas is less than a month away.
The SM Megamall, which is the second-largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the ninth-largest in the world, has been the site of other high-profile suicides. As The Inquisitr reported, three people died by suicide there in a period of close to two years. The last death, which took place in October 2017, involved a woman in her early 20s who reportedly fell from a balcony down to the basement below.
In February 2016, a 48-year-old woman named Madonna Guanzon also leaped from the fifth floor. Her death captured worldwide attention and led officials at the center to launch an investigation to determine how it could have happened.
Some experts expressed worry at the time that the high-profile nature of the suicide attempts inside the SM Megamall could inspire copycats. Research has shown that highly publicized suicides and suicide attempts can lead others to take their lives in a similar manner.
There have been other deaths inside shopping centers in the past few years as well. Another suicide in Quezon City earlier this year prompted Mayor Joy Belmonte to order a city council investigation including company officials, school authorities, and mental health experts. As the Philippine News Agency reported, a Grade 9 student allegedly jumped from the seventh floor of the center’s parking building. This followed another incident in October 2019 in which a senior high school student reportedly jumped from the fifth floor of the SM City North Edsa Annex.
Belmonte said the probe would look into ways to address mental health issues among youth and the creation of crisis intervention units that could work within the buildings, along with heightened security inside the shopping centers.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.