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Government addresses security questions after suicide at Alberta legislature

Alberta MLAs address suicide outside legislature: ‘Please reach out’
Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan and NDP MLA Heather Sweet both spoke about mental health supports in the wake of a man's suicide outside the legislature Monday.

There were questions Tuesday and calls to support the mental health of Albertans after a man died by suicide in front of the legislature.

It happened at around 3 p.m. Monday on the steps of the provincial building.

READ MORE: Political debate postponed after man dies by suicide on steps of Alberta legislature

Alberta Justice said sheriffs were stationed nearby but “did not have any time to intervene.”

“This event has, understandably, prompted questions about safety and security at the legislature and on the surrounding grounds,” government spokesperson Jason van Rassel said.

“The legislature and the public spaces around it are Crown property meant for the public’s use and enjoyment. The Alberta Sheriffs are responsible for providing security at government facilities, while at the same time ensuring public safety at the legislature grounds.

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“We will continue to strike a balance that preserves the safe functioning of our democratic institutions, while at the same time ensuring the public has access to its government and civic spaces.

“We are saddened by this tragic event, and our sincerest condolences go out to the family and loved ones involved.”

WATCH: Kenney talks about Alberta’s suicide crisis; rate is 50% higher per capita than Ontario’s

MLAs addressed the difficult incident in the house.

“It’s a loss that too many people know. I want to remind everyone experiencing those challenges that there are services available 24/7 and you are not alone,” UCP MLA and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan said.

“We must all work together to talk openly about depression, mental health challenges and suicide.

“These challenges are all too often silent until the tragedy makes them painfully visible,” he said.

NDP MLA Heather Sweet called for the government to take “real steps” to address the mental health crisis in the province.

“Even though we may not know his name, we know of the common struggles he faced. The feeling of isolation, unloved, unwanted, struggling with the perceived failures…

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“By working together across all party lines, we can continue to build on the resources and supports that all people need.

“We all know in this house there is much more to do. For those that are in need of support today, please reach out. If you feel like you can’t speak to a friend or a family member, call the mental health line.”

Calls for mental health supports after man dies by suicide at Alberta legislature
Calls for mental health supports after man dies by suicide at Alberta legislature

Global News has seen an email sent by the man shortly before his death. It appears he had no connection to anyone at the legislature. There is no indication he was out to hurt anyone else.

Global News is not naming the man or his workplace.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

If you are in need of support, you can call the Health Link at 811 or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.