Andy Jones & Mary-Lynn Bernard speak out about their son's suicide hoping to reform mental health care

A photo of Louis Jones-Bernard, son of Mary-Lynn Bernard & Andy Jones, who took his life in February. Mary-Lynn and Andy feel it's important to shine the light on mental health and find a way to compassionately help people who suffer from mental illness. (Submitted photo)

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Andy Jones says horrible thoughts plagued his son for most of his life. And the pain they caused was too much to take. Last month, Louis Jones-Bernard took his own life. And since losing him, Andy and his wife Mary-Lynn have been very public about their son's struggles and their own to get him help.

"He's said to me on many occasions that he felt like he was being raped by his thoughts, inappropriate worries and fears for everyone around him. He would return to the same thought over and over again which had no logic."

Andy Jones, father of Louis Jones-Bernard who suffered from with mental illness for more than 15 years

Hid obituary read: "Passed away by his own hand".

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"Louis was the life of the party."

Louis Jones-Bernard took his life after battling mental illness for most of his 28 years.

His parents -- Andy Jones and Mary-Lynn Bernard --- did not wish to hide the circumstances of their son's death because they want an open and public discussion of mental illness and suicide.

The family is already one of the best known in Newfoundland and Labrador. Andy Jones and Mary-Lynn Bernard are performers. Andy Jones' sister Cathy is known to many Canadians as a member of This Hour has 22 Minutes. And Louis' sister Marthe plays "Tinny" on The Republic of Doyle.


Many, many people attended Louis's funeral. Actress Mary Walsh attended and made an appeal to prevent similar tragedies.


"Because Louis had a mental illness, to which after years of courageous struggle, he finally succumbed. He died alone. With no one around him. And nothing to ease the pain. And as a community, I don't think we can let that keep happening. We say we don't know what to do but I don't think that is any longer an acceptable excuse."

Mary Walsh

Louis Jones-Bernard's parents, Andy and Mary-Lynn joined us to talk about their son, and about all of their struggles to find help. They were in our St. John's studio.



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This segment was produced by St. John's Network Producer Marie Wadden.


Music Bridge: "Calm Down" from APMmusic.com

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