Grieving mom urges Nova Scotia to act now on youth mental health recommendations
'It needs to be done now, because we don't need to lose any more children'
The mother of a bullied teen who took her own life in June says she will be watching closely to see how the Nova Scotia government responds to recommendations for helping young people struggling with a mental health crisis.
Amylynn Wilson's 13-year-old daughter, Madison, was one of several teens to die of suicide in Cape Breton earlier this year.
In response, the province tasked Dr. Stan Kutcher, a Halifax-based expert in youth mental health, to visit the island and conduct a review after speaking with the teens' families and their communities.
He released seven recommendations Wednesday, which the government said it would begin to implement immediately.
'We don't need to lose any more children'
Wilson said there is no time to wait.
"All this needs to be done now," she said through tears.
"No other parents should have to go through this. My goal is for children to know that there is ... help. It needs to be done now, because we don't need to lose any more children."
Kutcher's recommendations cover a wide range, including updating the province's suicide prevention framework and creating a policy regarding the use of student cellphones and other personal communication devices on school property.
The government responded by pledging to spend $192,000 and move immediately on three of Kutcher's recommendations related to boosting supports for youth facing mental health challenges.
Too late for Madison
Wilson said she and her family had been left in the dark since Kutcher came to Cape Breton in June, not knowing what — if anything — would come from his visit.
"It's a relief to know that [the province] has some things to look at," she said.
She said she's in total agreement with the recommendations although they come too late for her family.
"It's just too bad some of it wasn't in place before," said Wilson.
"As long as [the recommendations are] in place pretty soon, things will change for the children."
If you are in distress or considering suicide, there are places to turn for support. Nova Scotia's Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team can be reached at (902) 429-8167 or Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention also has information about where to find help.