New Brunswick report on youth suicide points to shortage of mental health specialists

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FREDERICTON — A new report on youth suicide prevention and mental health services in New Brunswick calls for the appointment of a minister for children and youth.

The report by the office of the Child, Youth and Seniors Advocate was prompted by the death of 16-year-old Lexi Daken, who took her life in February less than a week after seeking help at a Fredericton hospital.

Advocate Norm Bossé says the memory of Lexi gave power to the report, and now it must motivate the people who need to make the necessary changes.

The review found a chronic shortage of psychologists and psychiatrists in the province and a lack of standardized suicide risk assessment in emergency rooms.

Other recommendations include the creation of a provincial strategy for child and youth rights and development of an action plan for child and youth mental health and suicide prevention.

The 108-page report was released today in Fredericton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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