Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Lionel Desmond served with the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Hartling said. He retired as a corporal. He had been posted at CFB Gagetown in Oromocto, N.B., and was seeking help and treatment for his condition since he left the military, she said. "He was even fighting to get into the hospital himself when he first got out in 2015," she said. A Department of National Defence spokesperson said in a statement that Desmond was an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. He enrolled in 2004 and deployed to Afghanistan from January to August of 2007.

The poor state of the mental health system all over Canada is clear to citizens. And yet another family has paid the price for the failures of government to do the job required.
In this case there was no bed available and the end result is that the family was destroyed.
What is the problem with government at all levels?
We have a crisis in the delivery of mental health services and supports.
Unless families go public they don't get the help that is required.
In the most recent case in Alberta we had a mother kill her daughter.


The failures in the provision of mental health services are clear in this case and others. We understand that the only way to get proper response from the system is to go public. It's ridiculous. This poor kid was coping with her mother's mental illness, trying to get her help as her advocate and in the scarcity of mental health services and beds, was unable to get her the help she needed. This is no surprise to anyone in Alberta where we have study after study in all the problem areas such as the mental health system, the child welfare system and the continuing care system and no action. The only response of the GOA is to spin the tires to flat. The public is tired of this junk. There is enough information. What is required is action by the folks at Alberta Health. They can start by accepting the agreement with the federal government and the targeted funding for mental health services/ supports.


'Rachael was a nurse with every part of her being,' her friend said. 'She cared for her mother, and her mother loved her'
NEWS.NATIONALPOST.COM

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http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/she-had-the-warmest-heart-friends-mourn-21-year-old-edmonton-nurse-allegedly-killed-by-her-mother

‘She had the warmest heart’: Friends mourn 21-year-old Edmonton nurse allegedly killed by her mother

Janet French, Postmedia News | December 27, 2016 12:05 AM ET
Rachael Longridge (left), 21, was Edmonton's 41st homicide victim of 2016 when she died of severe injuries Friday afternoon. Her friend Danielle Bourque (right) said Longridge was inherently caring and a natural nurse.
DANIELLE BOURQUE / SUPPLIEDRachael Longridge (left), 21, was Edmonton's 41st homicide victim of 2016 when she died of severe injuries Friday afternoon. Her friend Danielle Bourque (right) said Longridge was inherently caring and a natural nurse.
A nursing graduate just days away from starting her career when she was killed, Rachael Longridge was a devoted friend and volunteer, a doting sister and a mentor to her fellow students, says one of her closest friends.
On Monday, Danielle Bourque was mourning her 21-year-old friend, who died of severe injuries sustained in a northwest Edmonton house Friday. Charged with second-degree murder and possession of an offensive weapon is the victim’s mother, Christine Longridge, 50.
“Rachael was a nurse with every part of her being,” said Bourque, who became fast friends with her after meeting in the University of Alberta nursing program four years ago.
Edmonton
EdmontonRachael Longridge, 21, was killed on December 23, 2016 in Edmonton.
Rachael Longridge felt compelled to become a nurse after her father was diagnosed with cancer while she was in high school, Bourque said. He died last year, which exacerbated her mother’s problems with mental illness, Bourque said.
“She cared for her mother, and her mother loved her,” Bourque said.
When Bourque’s own mother moved away, Christine Longridge made her feel like part of the family, Bourque said.
Although Rachael Longridge tried to get help for her mother, the health system failed them, she said.
Her friend was a devoted older sister to her brother, Michael, frequenting hockey games to watch him play, she said.
She also volunteered as a companion to an elderly woman, and in her last year of school, worked as a home-care nurse, seeing some of Edmonton’s most vulnerable citizens in the inner city, Bourque said.
Although her father became gravely ill while she was in school, Rachael Longridge kept up with classes — a testament to her perseverance, Bourque said.
Intent on becoming an acute-care nurse, Rachael finished her final practicum earlier this month at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. Shortly after, she learned she had landed a job there. It’s rare for a graduating nurse to land a full-time position fresh out of school, Bourque said.
Bourque said she felt “truly blessed” to be her friend.
David Bloom/Postmedia News
David Bloom/Postmedia NewsA small memorial sits outside a home in Edmonton Saturday Dec. 24. Rachael Longridge, 21, was found dead at a home Dec. 23, and her mother now faces second-degree murder charges.
“The sort of compassion that she showed to people and patients — she just had the warmest heart for people, and was able to connect with them,” Bourque said. “It’s not every nurse who has that type of empathy and that type of caring. It’s something that I’m still learning every day to do.”
Friends are planning a candlelight vigil at her alma mater — outside the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy on the U of A campus — from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.
“Even if you did not know Rachael very long, briefly, or knew of her in passing, she had the ability to create strong bonds with so many people regardless of how long you knew her. She was genuine, had an infectious personality, and cared so much for people. Please join her family and friends to celebrate and mourn the life of this amazing daughter, sister, friend, cousin and nurse,” wrote her friends on Facebook.

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As plans for the vigil took shape online Monday, candles burned amid bouquets of snow-dusted flowers on the steps of the home on 132 Street near 122 Avenue where the young woman died.
The sidewalk and steps of the home were swept clean of snow, and a Christmas tree was still visible through the window. A pink Beanie Baby and a card that read “It’s faith that lifts us up, love that brings us comfort, and strength that allows us to move on,” had also been placed as a tribute.
Meanwhile, an online crowd-funding campaign set up by a supporter of the family had raised more than $20,000 by Monday afternoon. According to the creator of the Gofundme page, funds raised will be used to cover funeral costs and to assist her brother.



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In this new case, a man with PTSD destroys his family.  Such a waste of life.


Velvet Martin shared a link to the group: Protecting Canadian Children.
8 hrs


A Canadian Forces veteran has been identified as one of four people found dead Tuesday evening in an apparent murder-suicide in a rural Nova Scotia home.
WWW.CBC.CA

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Julie Ali This is just another indication of the poor state of the mental health system in Canada. This family was begging for help and they were not able to access it. I feel that the government should be held liable for these failures--http://www.cbc.ca/.../four-found-dead-upper-big-tracadie... -'No beds available'

Rev. Elaine Walcott, who lives just outside of Halifax and is related to the victims, said Lionel Desmond had recently spent time in a Montreal clinic for post-traumatic stress disorder. 

"He's been crying out for help from the mental health system," she said.

Shanna Desmond recently graduated as a registered nurse and was working at St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish, N.S. — the same hospital where her husband had tried to get treatment within the last week, Walcott said.

"I understand that there were no beds available," Walcott said.

"He suffered in physical ways, he suffered in emotional ways, and spiritual ways," she said of his tours in Afghanistan.

This waste of life is unacceptable. Why is the government in Alberta able to provide timely care for the most part for folks who have cancer-a disease of the body but not for a mentally ill folks? Why is it that diseases of the brain results in stigma, marginalization and no response from government? Even now when the federal government is attempting to help the most vulnerable citizens with mental health problems by targeted funding we have Alberta Health and the health minister refusing to accept the agreement.

It is not right.
Families who can't access mental health services should go public.
Go to newspapers. If the media can yap about the consequences of the failure of mental health service delivery in the form of sensational reports on the fatalities why not on the prevention of such calamities?
If you can't get help from media go the social media route and yap day and night.
Write on a blog for ten thousand posts until you have circulation.
And don't stay silent.
Silence is complicit.
And it is fatal.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/four-found-dead-upper-big-tracadie-home-1.3920457

Veteran, his wife, child and mother found dead in apparent murder-suicide

Lionel Desmond appears to have shot himself, 3 others died of gunshot wounds, RCMP say

By Elizabeth McMillan, Sherri Borden Colley, CBC News Posted: Jan 04, 2017 7:38 AM AT Last Updated: Jan 04, 2017 6:16 PM AT
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RCMP on scene at home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S. after 4 bodies were found on Tuesday evening 0:52

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A military veteran, his newly graduated nurse wife, their 10-year-old daughter and her grandmother are dead after an apparent murder-suicide that has rocked a rural Nova Scotia community.
CBC News has confirmed the deceased are Lionel Desmond, 33, his wife, Shanna Desmond, 31, their 10-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, and Brenda Desmond, 52, who was Lionel's mother.
Nova Scotia RCMP said Lionel Desmond appeared to have shot himself, and the three others died of apparent gunshot wounds. Police said they found two guns in the house and are continuing to search the area.
Police were called to the house in northeastern Nova Scotia, about 29 kilometres north of Guysborough, shortly after 6 p.m. AT. Insp. Lynn Young, officer in charge of the Nova Scotia RCMP major crimes unit, told reporters two people found the bodies and called 911.
"This is incredibly tragic for everyone involved," she said.
Shanna Desmond's aunt, Catherine Hartling, said she went to the home in Upper Big Tracadie on Tuesday night because she thought Lionel Desmond had taken his own life. She arrived to learn everyone inside was dead.
"I'm in a daze … it's hard, very hard," she told CBC News Wednesday morning.
Lionel Desmond
Lionel Desmond was part of the India Company, 2nd battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, in Afghanistan in 2007. (Facebook)
Lionel Desmond served with the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Hartling said. He retired as a corporal.
He had been posted at CFB Gagetown in Oromocto, N.B., and was seeking help and treatment for his condition since he left the military, she said.
"He was even fighting to get into the hospital himself when he first got out in 2015," she said.
A Department of National Defence spokesperson said in a statement that Desmond was an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. He enrolled in 2004 and deployed to Afghanistan from January to August of 2007.
He was posted to the joint personal support unit in June 2014 until his release in July 2015. That unit supports ill and injured members by providing access to available benefits, programs, and family services.
Shanna Desmond and Aaliyah Desmond
Shanna Desmond and her daughter, Aaliyah, 10, were among the four dead after an apparent murder-suicide at a home in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S. (Facebook )

'No beds available'

Rev. Elaine Walcott, who lives just outside of Halifax and is related to the victims, said Lionel Desmond had recently spent time in a Montreal clinic for post-traumatic stress disorder.
"He's been crying out for help from the mental health system," she said.
Shanna Desmond recently graduated as a registered nurse and was working at St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish, N.S. — the same hospital where her husband had tried to get treatment within the last week, Walcott said.
"I understand that there were no beds available," Walcott said.
"He suffered in physical ways, he suffered in emotional ways, and spiritual ways," she said of his tours in Afghanistan.

'I couldn't believe it'

Sheila Pelly, deputy warden for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, said she was shocked when she heard the news Tuesday night.
She knew all of the victims and generations of their families.
"I couldn't believe it. I kept saying, 'No, it didn't happen.' But it did."
There will be lots of help for people through counselling services, churches and other supports, said Pelly.

'Things that you just can't get away from'

Trevor Bungay, who lives in New Brunswick, served with Lionel Desmond, and they kept in touch.
He said Desmond was "one of our go-to guys" who "always had a smile on his face."
The pair were part of a 10-person section during a tour in Afghanistan in 2007.
"We did see and do a lot of things over there that no human should ever really have to do," Bungay told CBC.
Brenda Desmond
Brenda Desmond, 52, lived in Upper Big Tracadie. (Facebook)
They were part of the infantry and "fought, guns blazing, for three months straight," he said.
"As soldiers, we put ourselves in positions that sometimes there's no way out of, or sometimes there's things that you just can't get away from. You have to see it and you have to deal with it at the time — 2007 was full of that."

Grief counsellors called in

He said learning of his friend's death was a shock.
"It's tearing us apart right now," he said. "For this to happen in this way, in any way, it's devastating. It makes me angry. There's sadness. There's everything. There's a ton of emotion."
A spokeswoman for the Strait Regional School Board said members of the school and regional incident response teams would be at Aaliyah's school on Wednesday offering support and counselling services. Supports would remain in place for as long as needed, Deanna Gillis said in an email.

'Situation out of the ordinary'

Dr. John Whelan, a Halifax-area clinical psychologist who focuses on treating military personnel, veterans and first responders with PTSD, called the situation "out of the ordinary" for someone with PTSD, though he was unfamiliar with the circumstances of the case and had never treated Desmond.
Whelan said that while there are stereotypes about how people with PTSD behave, the reality tends to be different.
Upper Big Tracadie stretchers
A stretcher is brought into the Upper Big Tracadie house on Wednesday. (CBC)
"If we look at purely the components of PTSD, it is very much classified as withdrawal, avoidance, shut down, trying to control oneself," he said. "That's in the opposite direction of the stereotype."
His advice for people who might be feeling upset about the events is to stay connected with people and reach out if they need help.
"Talk to somebody, talk to anybody, a close buddy or friend or group."
upper big tracadie
Police were called to the house in northeastern Nova Scotia, about 29 kilometres north of Guysborough, shortly after 6 p.m. AT. (CBC)
With files from the CBC's Steve Berry, Catherine Harrop, Elizabeth Chiu and The Canadian Press


Lionel Desmond had been asking for help since 2015. Why didn't he get this help from the military? Where was the federal government in this mess? Why didn't they have mental health beds available to admit him in Nova Scotia? It seems like Alberta is not the only province where we have all these studies, all this chatter and no damn action.


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So let me get this straight. Government can't help citizens when they are alive but can help them when they are dead? Wow.
Veterans Affairs says Minister Kent Hehr phoned the family Saturday to offer to pay for funerals of retired corporal Lionel Desmond, his mother, wife and daughter after a…
CBC.CA
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Edward Redshaw This was so sad. How could this happen. This is a failure of our Federal and Provincial Mental Health systems. Our government is contributing to this by refusing to accept the Federal offer that would put millions of $s dedicated annually into Health and Mental Care. They want the money not dedicated so they can put it into General Revenue and waste it on their fantasies. Note the death of Rachael Longridge. I spoke with FOIP and they said I would not make much headway with an investigation as I would not be allowed access to her mother's medical records by the government. I wish her family would demand a Fatality Enquiry. The Mental Health system's failures have got to be exposed. Others will pay dearly for their incompetence,
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Julie Ali I think the mental health system is in shambles in Alberta and it looks like the same mess is everywhere else. The federal government is correct in demanding that the money be allocated to mental health in a targeted format. Otherwise as you pointed out it will be simply disbursed to the most needy areas (the areas getting social media attention). All citizens can do is raise a social media storm about this junk. The government at all levels is incompetent. We know this is true because when we try to get services and supports we have major problems like this poor family did. Being an advocate for a mentally ill person is like swimming in stormy seas all the time and you burn out. This was just two young kids trying to help their mum. I imagine they weren't able to get the help they needed or get her hospitalized. It's impossible to get a psychiatric bed unless you have a psychiatrist with hospital privileges. I have been told by emergency doctors to talk to the GOA. What the heck? Why are families in distress forced to become politicians themselves? This unacceptable level of service delivery will continue until there is ongoing media attention. Investigations of fatalities are required and will need to be posted publicly. It is expensive to get court records and I am not sure how much it costs to get fatality inquiry records or if these are even available. The system is seamless in protecting the GOA and its agents. But fortunately we can do our jobs as good citizens and dissent with the MLAs. When they do nothing it is then possible to go to the MPs who may have the ability and interest to help citizens. When all fails the media and social media is left as resources. This family did not have the experience to access the help that may have saved the daughter and helped the mum. All of them are victims of GOA indifference. The PTSD murder suicides were also victims and the blame rests with both the provincial and federal governments.
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