An unnecessary fatality. Sign of a broken mental health system and yet the Health minister won't sign the health agreement and get targeted monies for the mental health needs of citizens.
Edmonton mother accused of killing daughter had mental illness, friends and family say
‘Her mother’s illness was something that she understood and accepted’
By Roberta Bell, CBC News Posted: Dec 26, 2016 2:55 PM MT Last Updated: Dec 26, 2016 3:57 PM MT
Rachael Longridge had just graduated from nursing school and was set to start a new job. She was 21. (Facebook)
Christine Longridge, accused of killing her 21-year-old daughter, Rachael, struggled for years with mental health issues, say people who knew the family.
"I knew her mother well and I know that her mother struggled a lot with mental illness," Danielle Bourque, a close friend who went to university with Rachael Longridge told CBC News.
Edmonton police charged Christine Longridge with second-degree murder and possessing an offensive weapon after Rachael Longridge died of injuries she suffered in an assault at the family home on Friday.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up by Rachael Longridge's cousins to cover the cost of the funeral and provide support for her younger brother, Michael Longridge.
Rachael Longridge, right, with one of her best friends, Dakota Bergem. (Supplied by Danielle Bourque)
Glen Dobranski, on behalf of the Longridge siblings' first cousins, wrote that Christine had been struggling for 18 years with bipolar disorder.
"Her mother's illness was something that she understood and accepted," Dobranski wrote of Rachael Longridge. "She was destined to dedicate the rest of her life as a nurse no matter how difficult the challenges would be."
Rachael Longridge was supposed to start a full-time job as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute next week. She graduated this month from the nursing program at the University of Alberta, alongside Bourque.
Lack of support
"As nurses, we take care of patients all the time. We had rotations in mental health and it's just really a tragedy that it happened to her — that she didn't have any support," Bourque said. "That's my own personal opinion on it."
Erin Longridge, Rachael and Michael's father, died in December 2015 after a long battle with cancer.
"With the passing of their dad and stuff, this year has not been easy. Rachael had to do that alone," Bourque said.
Bourque said she thinks Rachael Longridge's death wouldn't have happened if the health care system had resources and services in place for the family.
"It could have been prevented and it wasn't."
A memorial with flowers, candles, cards and stuffed toys has been set up on the front steps of the Longridge residence on 132nd Street near 122nd Avenue.
A vigil for Rachael Longridge will be held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy.
A memorial is set up on the front steps of the Longridge residence. (Natasha Riebe/CBC)