B.C. youth in need of ser­vices

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - NEWS -

A 17-year-old boy who jumped to his death from a con­struc­tion crane at B.C. Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Van­cou­ver didn’t get the men­tal health treat­ment he needed from the time he was two years old, says Bri­tish Columbia’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive for chil­dren and youth.

Bernard Richard’s re­port re­leased Wed­nes­day in­ves­ti­gates the death of a teen iden­ti­fied by the pseu­do­nym Joshua who died in July 2015 after jump­ing from the crane on the grounds of the hospi­tal.

The re­view of his death found sig­nif­i­cant gaps in the health sys­tem, which Richard says need to be cor­rected.

The re­port says Joshua, whose mother was his pri­mary care­giver after his par­ents sep­a­rated and later di­vorced, be­gan show­ing signs of men­tal ill­ness when he was two years old but he and his fam­ily didn’t re­ceive ad­e­quate early and long-term help as his ill­ness es­ca­lated into his teens.

“Joshua ex­hib­ited signs of se­ri­ous men­tal health is­sues at an ex­tremely young age,” the re­port says. “His mother sought help from the Min­istry of Chil­dren and Fam­ily De­vel­op­ment be­cause her son was hit­ting him­self and bang­ing his head on walls. “

Pre­vi­ous sui­cide at­tempts led the teenager to be hos­pi­tal­ized, but he was kept in an adult psy­chi­atric ward be­cause fa­cil­i­ties more ap­pro­pri­ate for youth were lack­ing, it says.

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