Youth death highlights mental health reform – Pique Newsmagazine

Government pledges Action as Canada marks Mental Illness Awareness Week

The Office of the B.C. Representative for Children and Youth has renewed its call for a comprehensive provincial child and youth mental health strategy in the wake of another youth failed by B.C.’s mental health services.

Missing Pieces: Joshua’s Story, the latest report from the representative’s office, details the life and untimely death of 17-year-old “Joshua”— a pseudonym chosen by his mother. Described by his family as an “intelligent, caring,” young person who loved his cat and wanted to help people, Joshua struggled from an early age with severe mental health issues that manifested in self-harm and multiple suicide attempts.

Despite interventions from mental health, child welfare, and education professionals, as well as an engaged and supportive family, Joshua committed suicide in summer 2015 after a nearly five-month stay at BC Children’s Hospital.

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