Grant Rants

Mental health and suicide

- May 8th, 2012

Greetings heathens, zealots, web denizens, and the rest of you!

Last week I wrote a story and a column about the death of David McIntrye, a 15-year-old from Smithville. In short, David was unable to find the help he and his parents desperately tried to get for him. He fell through the cracks for reasons that have yet to be made public, and while his parents scrambled to find him help, David killed himself.

I’ve been floored by the willingness of readers to come forward and share their stories since the first story on David’s case was published, both in our comment’s sections and in private phone calls and emails. The issue is clearly one that can no longer linger in the shadows.

Today, the Mental Health Commission of Canada will officially release its national strategy to improve our mental health system. I hope you continue to chime on the issue when we publish stories on the strategy. The more people take part in the discussion, the greater the chance that things will change and help the next David McIntyre that comes along.

So watch the Standard’s website later today.

Finally, one thing that is making me go a little ranty. For reasons that I don’t fully understand we talk about mental health as though it is something different from “physical health.” Maybe because mental health cannot be seen the way a broken leg can. I don’t know. But the fact is that a mental illness is a manifestation of activity in the brain, which is as physical as your arm or leg. It would be nice if we could stop referring to mental illness as though it is something that comes out of the ether instead of a physical problem that needs to be regarded as such. Maybe, just maybe, if we did, some of the stigma surrounding mental health would fade.

Categories: News

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1 comment

  1. angel bisson says:

    When my daughter began school in kindergarten I never imagined we would have to fight so hard with the school board just to keep her in. In the beginning she had a very outgoing personality and children loved to hang out with her. She was always a little different with her imaginary friend she called ” King” and when she was playing with him she would let no-one else in. I always encouraged that because I thought it was good that she could play by herself. when she started school though they told me to tell her she couldn’t let him come to school anymore because she had to play with the other children. So she started to pretend to be a horse and would give the children horseback rides. They loved it until they got in the higher grades and thats when the bullying started. My little girl then became withdrawn and began to run every time she would get in trouble at school. thats when they suspended her and then eventually removed her from regular school all together. We took all the proper steps first contact niagara, then pathstone and eventually day treatment. It wasn’t what we wanted but at least it was something. while she was in day treatment she had chairs thrown at her, had sexual advances made and was told by another student that if she cut her wrists it would look cool. All those things were done before grade 7. And then what happened next was an absolute joke… she was expelled from day treatment for telling a teacher she hated her. I then demanded she was put back into regular school imediately. We had a meeting with Queen Mary and she began the next week. So for a year and a half my daughter did great. Her marks were great, she made friends and I had my little girl back. I never dreamed our nightmare would begin again. But almost as soon as highschool began she started to run away. I had to go to school constantly for meetings. This is difficult for me because I’m at work most days. The school decided to remove her from school and offer her home instruction but my daughter refused it because she insisted she could handle regular school if they would just leave her alone and let her learn. So my daughter has been stuck at home at the age of 15 with no education because they insisist she needs help and they won’t let her back in until she gets it. I just wish that they realize what they are doing to our children. My daughter needs to be heard. I wish I could help her but I just don’t know how to get them to listen. Please won’t somebody help us! Thanks for listening.

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