Vulnerable Persons Alert/Silver Alert for Canada! Amendments for my brother James

Vulnerable Persons Alert/Silver Alert for Canada! Amendments for my brother James

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Aleesha Wood started this petition to Government of Canada and

There are many states that hold different alert systems for missing people's, one Canada has adopted is the very vital "Amber Alert System." This has been integral for finding missing children. But what about other known vulnerable groups?

My brother James was a 27 year old suspected schizophrenic. He was apprehended under the Mental Health Care Act over a heated zoom call on November 8th in the early afternoon after he was found to be displaying agitated catatonia, a symptom of untreated schizophrenia, PTSD, bipolar, and other mental health ailments. The psychiatrist did not handle this situation delicately, she sternly informed him the police were coming for him and he was apprehended. Upon research, this was not proper policy. They were to first allow the family to try and convince him to go in for treatment- not treat him like a criminal and the situation was not secure. My brother over the last 9 months had deteriorated very rapidly, he had been put into the psychiatric ward of the hospital almost once per month, if not more. He began experiencing horrifying symptoms that we suspected were psychological, such as believing he had "holes in his muscles" and "rips all over his body." At the end of August he lit a fire in the backyard, he had become so vacant when he put it out he didn't take care to make sure it was extinguished. He became fearful once he realized what would happen and fled. The neighbors ran to assist my mother in extinguishing it. He was apprehended and taken to the ward, once released after a couple days, counselors advised to try the approach of tough love, "tough love." He had a care team and the CLBC (Canadian Living BC) implored my brother would be housed if my mother chose not to take him back after one of these outbursts. His primary case worker who worked for Interior Health, DDMHS (Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Services) picked him up from this particular hospital visit, he was to inform the CLBC team if James was left without a living situation... conflicting information was given, but apparently this did not happen. He dropped him off downtown with a sticky note that had my mother's number as all the shelters were full. Later in the evening she recieved a call from a woman, she said: "Hey, I don't think this kid belongs here. He seems confused, my phones about to die but here-" my brother came onto the line, "Mom, I'm scared. Can you please come get me?" And the phone disconnected. Upon arrival to downtown Kelowna, he was no where to be found. 3 days later he turned up and said he had been raped. He was hospitalized, but we were not able to convince him to release a rape kit to the RCMP. This means a rapist who preys on the vulnerable of downtown Kelowna is safe.

Two months later, my brother would go missing from that zoom call. He had stopped feeding himself, his hair was matted with dead skin debris, he stopped washing as he believed his body had little to no range of motion. His body odor was so extreme I almost couldn't hug him and offered to wash him in his bathing suit. He began to babble and mumble rather than converse and reciprocate. We had difficulty finding centers that would accept him in his state and believed he first needed medical help. He would message me later saying it was taking them too long and be believed he had to be euthanized like the family dog. I begged him not to speak like that and he told me about the upcoming appointment, I held hope and told him to remain strong. Sadly, help would not come.

COSAR (central okanagan search and rescue) was launched 2 days after his disappearance and the police put out a missing person story on the 9th. Sadly, he would of already been dead. The next day (9th) my mother was able to get castanet to do a news story, a vital tip from Patti and Dale, a married couple in West Kelowna, seen this. They called crimestoppers that they seen him walking disorientated on Smith Creek Road. This tip was not relayed and the sad reality is he would of already been deceased or in a critical stage of brain damage from the cold exposure.

A kind person by the name of RL Dakin on Facebook puts together groups for people who are missing loved ones. Thanks to this group, we found that tip months later. A separate hiking search was set up (volunteer non-police related as some articles stated), they found his remains within 10 minutes off of Smith Creek RD. When I went to the body site, it was only a minute from the road. He was only bones, I will never have a proper autopsy and we do not have all of his remains. His death will forever be listed as, "Undetermined." Meaning I cannot ask the coroner to launch an inquest to prevent his death. An inquest is a term used for a coroner to notify the public that a death was preventable. I went to his site, laid where he laid. I pray tears didn't freeze to his beautiful cheeks as they did mine. I cannot win if I do not fight. I can't lay down and let this happen again. 

We can prevent another James from recurring. Please, sign this petition. I want to raise awareness for mental health, it has been given such little regard over the past 2 years and to be truthful? It's underfunded and often put on the back burner. Politicians tweet, "Bell let's talk!" Works for mild depression. We as a society are not trained professionals to deal with mental health afflictions. So let's talk. James was preventable. He was brought to emergency October 28th, we still have the wrist band where my mother plead he wasnt drinking, had diarrhea and needed help. He prescribed him Naproxen and said goodbye. My baby brother shouldn't have laid down to his death because his treatment was being misdiagnosed and downright neglected. When a person who is vulnerable goes missing we should have a proper alert system in place that can prevent this. While our politicians tweet this, they promote social inequalities and put millions into "temporary" systems. What about mental health, what about obvious preventable measures? 

I want either a Silver Alert System that is inclusive of all adults that have cognitive disabilities or mental health afflictions, not just seniors. Or a system that is specifically meant for people like James, people who are suspected or known to have mental health issues and are at high risk of endangerment. An alert sent out to the Kelowna region could have saved his life, Dale and Patti would of recieved that tip and called him in that moment. He would of recieved the care he needed, the system could have saved him, search and rescue could have saved him, we could have saved him.

Please, stand with me for mental health. Let's do better and bring in an alert system for the vulnerable.

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At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!