After reading both the Coast Reporter account and CBC news’s online article about the killing of Moirin Webster, I am convinced that the blame for this occurrence lies with our mental health care system and society’s indifference to the plight of people who suffer from severe mental illnesses and their families. It is not the fault of individual care-givers within the system.
It is the result of long-term neglect by successive governments.
For someone like Kevin Webster, a person with treatment-resistant schizophrenia who has been unresponsive to medication, there is literally nowhere to be.
Shortly before he killed his mother this young man asked three times to speak to a doctor at the hospital and was turned away. (That he was unwilling to say why he wanted to talk to a psychiatrist was probably due to paranoia.) Previous to that, he was discharged from Sumac Place because “staff couldn’t handle his behaviour”. In past years he would have been sent to Riverview, but that doesn’t happen anymore. Instead he was discharged to homelessness. Is this an appropriate solution for the most ill among us?
It was Christmas. His mother took him in. She had space in her home and her heart and, no doubt, saw no other alternative. The mental health care system was indifferent to her safety.
This is the third time a mother has been killed by a psychotic son in this community within roughly 20 years. I would like it to be the last time anywhere.
Anne Miles, Gibsons