With files from Jeremy Lye
A mother overwhelmed with grief says her son killed himself on Wednesday, just an hour after being released from Burnaby General Hospital.
She she wants to know why the hospital released him, knowing about his mental health issues.
Speaking to the Simi Sara show, Kim Young says she took her son Edward to hospital on Monday, fearing for his mental health.
After days of back and forth and contact with the hospital, Young claims she made an agreement with the hospital that they would let her know when they would release him, so she could arrange to pick him up so he wouldn’t be left alone.
But Young says that’s not what happened Wednesday.
“I said he was going to try and commit suicide, I told them that, I told them that before he did, and they still let him out. He got on the bus, went on the bridge and he jumped.”
Young says she’d asked them to call her to let her know when they would discharge him so he wouldn’t be left alone.
Investigation already underway
Citing privacy concerns, Fraser Health says it won’t be commenting directly on the case.
Dr. Victoria Lee, the Vice President for Mental Health-Substance Abuse services at Fraser Health, says they have reached out to Edward’s mother.
“I know this has been a very challenging and upsetting situation for the mother, and we’ve connected with her yesterday and we’ve reached out again to her today.” “We’ll be keeping her informed of the review and also the outcomes of the review.” “And again I’d like to take the opportunity to relay our sincere condolences to the family.”
Lee says the review process has already started into the decision to release Edward without notifying his mother.
But the heartbroken mother said she told the hospital she was concerned about her son, Edward’s, mental health.
“My son would have been sitting here right now, one phone call could have saved his life.”
Young says the call never came to let her know he had been released from hospital.
Young says he was given a bus ticket, and an hour later, his body was found at the Commercial SkyTrain Station.
Complex issues around mental health care
Even though he cannot comment on the specifics of this case at this time, Jonny Morris from the Canadian Mental Health Association says every case involving the care and release of a mental health patient is different, and it’s too simplistic to say there are too many, or too few, protocols in place when a patient is released.
“The reality is that supporting people with mental health issues is very complex and at the same time, where possible, I think family members are a key part of the care of people.”
We’ve approached Health Minister Terry Lake for comment.