Ottawa

Inquest into Carleton student's suicide begins

An inquest into the death of a Carleton University student and Canadian Armed Forces member who took his life despite seeking help from doctors begins Tuesday.

Jason Renato Simon, 20, sought professional help before his death

Jason Simon in a picture posted by his mother on a social media memorial for her son. An inquest into his 2016 suicide begins Tuesday. (Supplied)

An inquest into the death of a Carleton University student and Canadian Armed Forces member who took his life despite seeking help from doctors begins Tuesday.

Jason Renato Simon, 20, died in his Ottawa residence in February 2016 after weeks of trying to access mental health services, according to a statement from the coroner for Ontario's eastern region, who is conducting the inquest.

The inquest will be held to examine the circumstances that led to Simon's death and make recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

His mother, Margit Simon, said despite having access to multiple supports, her son still didn't get the help he needed.

"He was asking for help and nobody truly believed him," she said.

Simon had attempted to take his own life prior to his death, his mother said, but never told his family he was struggling with his mental health.

The coroner's inquest into Jason Renato Simon's death starts Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Margit Simon's son took his own life when he was 20 years old. (Kimberley Molina/CBC)

"He was a young man and he thought he could handle it. I guess it's a pride thing and he didn't want to worry us."

He was admitted to hospital, but Margit Simon said a doctor at the hospital told her her son wasn't a danger to himself.

"When he was in the hospital I asked him what's wrong so we could help him, and he said he wished he knew," she said.

He was released 72 hours after being admitted. Two weeks later he was dead.

Jason Renato Simon tried to get help before the 20-year old killed himself almost three years ago. 8:02

Margit Simon said she remembered feeling helpless.

"It was terrifying because as a mom, I wanted to help him anyway I could, but I was stuck."

Margit Simon, left, and her son Jason Simon. He was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces with the 30th Field Artillery Regiment. Margit said it was his dream to join the military. (Supplied)

Jason Simon grew up in Windsor, Ont., and was studying criminology at Carleton University at the time of his death.

He was also a member of the Canadian Armed Forces with the 30th Field Artillery Regiment.

"That was his dream since he was a little boy. He wanted to keep Canada safe and make a difference," Margit said.

She remembers her son as a fun-loving young man who loved animals and the outdoors.

Margit Simon and her husband plan to attend every day of the inquest. She is hoping it will lead to recommendations that prevent what happened to her son from happening to anyone else.


Need help? Here are some mental health resources in the National Capital Region:

  • Association québécoise de prévention du suicide: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553).
  • Ottawa Suicide Prevention: 613-238-3311.