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  • LISTEN Mental Health System ‘Horribly Broken’ When it Comes to Suicide Prevention, says Burin Woman

    The province’s mental health system is “horribly broken” and “they’ve got to do better.”

    That’s the message of a Burin Peninsula woman whose boyfriend is in ICU at the Health Sciences after attempting suicide despite repeated efforts to seek help from the health care system.

    Gail Holloway contacted VOCM News during this Suicide Prevention Month, questioning the health care system’s ability to deal with people who are suicidal. She says her boyfriend, who was battling severe depression, sought help repeatedly.

    She says he was first admitted to the Waterford Hospital last April and was prescribed a variety of medications. Holloway says as a result of the effect of those medications he had to give up fishing and sell his boat. Since last October they’ve been trying to get his doctor to change the medications, but to no avail.

    She says two weeks ago, after three visits to the Burin Health Care Centre, he was sent to the Waterford Hospital again, something Holloway says gave her reason for optimism, but she was surprised when he was sent home with nothing more than an additional prescription for Atavan and a directive to cut down the rope in his shed he had previously used in a suicide attempt.

    She says on Tuesday he told her he was going upstairs to lie down, she stayed in the living room, but when she went to check on him, he was gone, she ran to the shed, which had been barricaded from the inside, and when she got in she found him hanging.

    Holloway cut him down, gave him CPR and he was taken to hospital where he remains in ICU.

    She says the health care system did nothing for her boyfriend since last October and they have to do better. She says the system is “horribly broken”.

    If you or anyone you know needs help, contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at (709) 737-4668 or toll free at (888) 737-4668, or the Mobile Crisis Response Team at (709) 737-4668 or toll free at (888) 737-4668.

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