Create change in our mental health system so no other family suffers a loss like ours.
This petition had 316 supporters
On May 4, 2016, Eddie Young was discharged from Burnaby General Hospital, given a bus pass, and within an hour took his own life. His mom had taken him to the hospital two days before because she was concerned about Eddie’s mental health and threats of suicide. She had asked hospital staff repeatedly to call when they were ready to discharge Eddie so she could come pick him up. Instead, hospital staff judged that Eddie was fit to leave on his own. Fraser Health later commented that its policy is to ask a patient being discharged if they would like medical staff to notify their loved ones. If the patient doesn’t want it, staff won’t do it.
We understand that doctors and nurses often have to make difficult decisions and that caring for mental health patients is never easy. But we also know that Eddie’s death is not a single tragedy. Many others have died under similar circumstances and families throughout British Columbia find their loved ones being discharged from hospitals despite the need for more intensive mental health care. We want to see improvements in the mental health system so that no other family has to experience this kind of tragedy.
We are asking for better training and better processes to be implemented in hospitals throughout BC. This includes:
· Training and procedures that address the fact that mental health patients are often severely distressed or in a state of psychosis and therefore are not able to make sound judgments about their condition or needs; that mental health patients often know what they need to do or say in order to be discharged from hospitals; and that following the wishes of mental health patients regarding their discharge from hospitals can put their lives at risk.
· Training and procedures for connecting every mental health patient with a family member, friend, or other mental health professional when they are being discharged from the hospital to ensure the patient is taken to a safe place and has the appropriate follow-up care.
· Comprehensive training for staff about the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the fact that it allows for sharing of information with third parties for continuity of care purposes even without consent from the patient.
· A significant increase in the number of tertiary care beds available in the province so that mental health patients can be safely stabilized and the appropriate follow-up care put in place before being discharged into the community.
We don’t want to see any more lives lost or endangered because of poor practices in our hospitals. Therefore, we are asking the Ministry of Health to work with the Regional Health Authorities, community partners, and families to develop and implement the procedures described above.
The Family of Eddie Young
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