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Port Coquitlam mom seeks improved mental health services for kids

Carol Todd, whose daughter, Amanda, committed suicide in October, is backing a petition for improved mental health services for children. Amanda was a student at CABE in Coquitlam at the time of her death. - FILE PHOTO
Carol Todd, whose daughter, Amanda, committed suicide in October, is backing a petition for improved mental health services for children. Amanda was a student at CABE in Coquitlam at the time of her death.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO

Carol Todd has joined the fight for improved mental health services for children.

The Port Coquitlam mom whose own daughter, Amanda, committed suicide in October, is backing a petition for improved services for children in support of Kelly and Owen Bradley.

"When a child and family is in need of emergency mental health support, it is so very important that it is available at the time of need. The lives of our children are so fragile and as parents, we want to be able to rely and trust on the professionals to help us," stated Todd in a press release.

The Bradleys' 11-year-old daughter was recently sent away from Victoria General hospital three times while having a serious, violent bipolar episode.

The couple is calling for enhanced emergency mental health services and has started an online petition at www.change.org.

Another B.C. couple whose daughter committed suicide at a Saanich youth psychiatric facility in 2010 has also joined the call for more mental health services for  youth.

Barb Kozeletski, the mother of Hayden Kozeletski, said the system failed her daughter, but improved supports for children with mental health issues could prevent further tragedies.

"I would hate to see the Bradleys or any other family go through the heartbreak we did when our daughter took her life,"

Todd, whose own daughter struggled with anxiety and depression while dealing with face-to-face and online bullying, said children need services targeted to their special needs.

The mothers say that children who are self harming or have suicidal ideations are reaching out for help. But because their problems are mental, not physical, they often don't get the emergency help they need.

"Too many lives have been lost already. We need to save the precious ones that are still with us and crying out. No family should have to go through the pain and sadness of losing their child. Kelly and Owen's endeavor to improve emergency services for children and youth with mental health concerns is one that I will continue to support in our province and promote awareness of globally," Todd stated.

The Bradleys say they welcome the support and appreciate the network that has evolved since the start of their petition.

"It's a comfort, but it again proves that the Ministry of Health needs to step up and support us," stated Kelly Bradley.

 

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