Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Public Inquiry schedule: standing up for Mental Health

September, for the rest of my life, will always bring joy and sorrow.

 At the most joy, it is my wedding anniversary  (wowza!  we were just saying that with the approach of two years, we are no longer "newly weds.  Where did the time fly!?)

In addition, it brings melancholy, and grief, as I remember the life of my sister Shaunnie Rebecca, who passed away on the 23rd of Sept, 2012.


As you may know, Rebecca passed away at the Alberta Hospital, while under care for her schizo-affective disorder.  She passed away in the early morning, after not fully awakening for breakfast.  It was found that she had a toxic level of an anti-psychotic medication, Clozapine, in her blood serum.  From there, it is unknown as to what caused her death.   Our family called for a public inquiry by the province of Alberta.  Public Inquiries are not to find fault, but rather to make recommendations so that things like this don't happen again.  Public inquiries are to look into the death of people who are "wards of the state" or who pass away as the result of an interaction with a public servant. 

Since her death, I have kept an eye on the scheduling for the public inquiries.  Last week, her name finally passed from the "waiting to be scheduled" to the "scheduled dates."  She will have her inquiry at the Courts in Edmonton, in June 2015.  Of course, this raises emotions:  
  • it reminds me of what a shitty situation she died in.  
  • It reminds me of all the vulnerable people and their families, who are living with mental illness & depending on health care to promote wellness, and how often that fails.  
  • It reminds me that professionals can screw up & medicine can fail. 
  • it reminds me that I will not see Rebecca again.
  • It makes me worry that nothing will change, despite the public inquiry happening.
  • It makes me happy that we will learn more.
  • It makes me happy that simply by running this inquiry & being present for it, my family can be an advocate for those living with mental health conditions.
So, there is it.  On the anniversary of her death, may light perpetual shine upon her & may she rest in peace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi - somehow stumbled on this post via your facebook, and wanted to say it struck a chord with me and I will be thinking of you and wishing you strength, I'm sure it will be a tough time but I hope also a positive time that brings about change and I hope that it will raise awareness so that something like this can be avoided in the future. Well done for having the courage and patience and strength in your family to go through all of this. Robyn