Calls continue for public inquiry into Lexi Daken's death
FREDERICTON -- A mental health advocate is adding his voice to calls for a public inquiry into Lexi Daken's death.
The 16-year-old tried to see a psychiatrist at the Everett Chalmers emergency room in Fredericton on Feb. 18, according to her family.
She never saw one, despite waiting for over eight hours.
Daken died by suicide six days later.
Her story has sparked calls for the New Brunswick government to transform the mental health care system, specifically the youth system.
It was also very familiar for Kyle Moore.
"I didn't want to talk to anybody in my life because I had these incredible parents, this incredible life, these incredible friends around me and this community that embraced me and I was like, 'What do I have to be sad about?" Moore said in an interview with CTV Atlantic. "Even back then, my parents recognized the fact that, granted I didn't really open up about the depths of what I was going through, but they knew that even if I was going through a crisis, that I wouldn't get the help that I needed from the province because it would take too long."
Moore says he received help privately, through his parent's workplace.
He started a podcast about navigating his own mental illness: general anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Upon hearing Daken's story, Moore added his voice to the calls for change and started a petition, asking for an "immediate" public inquiry into the teen's death. Hundreds have signed so far.
After being asked by Health Minister Dorothy Shephard, New Brunswick's child and youth advocate is promising a thorough review of mental health crisis care in the province with a public report issued by July.
Norm Bossé said on Friday, that a review is the best route.
"We need to do something right now, timely, let's get it done, let's focus on this and let's get some action by way of our recommendations," he said.
Bossé says he's participated in two public inquiries, including one that took three years and cost $1.7 million.
Horizon Health Network has promised to do its own internal review.
But Moore believes an inquiry would hold the system more accountable.
"We've had Dorothy Shephard, who's said that the system is broken, that it's failing New Brunswickers," Moore said. "But yet, that broken system is going to evaluate itself?"
Green Party leader David Coon initially made the call for a public inquiry on March 1.
"She was psychologically bleeding out," Coon said. "She should have been put in a safe place immediately -- not sat at the ER for eight hours -- and treated. But our ERs clearly are not set up to do this. Can they be set up to do this? That's what an inquiry I guess could look at."