May 13, 2009

Artist charged for fake suicide attempt

Swedish authorities said an art student has been charged with faking a suicide attempt as part of her final school project.

Prosecutors in Stockholm said Anna Odell, 35, was taken into custody by police Jan. 21 on the capital's Liljeholm bridge after officers determined that she appeared to be preparing to commit suicide, the Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported Wednesday.

Odell was taken to the St. Goran's Hospital psychiatric ward, where she revealed Jan. 22 that she had been faking mental illness and the suicide attempt was staged. The student said the incident was part of her final art project at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design.

Public prosecutor Stefan Lind said Odell was charged with violent resistance, dishonest conduct and raising a false alarm.

Quite simply, I believe she's guilty of these crimes, Lind said.

Odell's project, titled Unidentified woman 2009-349701, opened this week at the university.

Closed psychiatric care is the most dictatorial part of society we have, through which a patient can have all their rights taken from them. (And) it certainly needs to be, as I have also been helped by it myself, Odell said. But there also needs to be control; patients are sometimes not believed.