Advocate promises ‘comprehensive’ overview of N.B. crisis care by July

Click to play video: 'How a thorough review of N.B. mental care will play out' How a thorough review of N.B. mental care will play out
WATCH: After the tragic case of Lexi Daken, the New Brunswick teenager who took her own life, we’re getting a clearer picture of how a thorough review of the province’s mental health care will play out. Travis Fortnum reports. – Mar 5, 2021

New Brunswick’s Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate says his office’s review of mental health crisis services in the province will be timely, independent and public.

Norman Bossé, whose mandate ends on July 31, told a Friday morning press conference that he intends to see the process through before leaving the role.

“In the meantime,” he said, “we’ve got a lot of consultation to do and it is probably, in my eight years here, one of the most comprehensive looks that we’ll have at the system.”

Even still, he says there are steps that can be accomplished sooner — such as looking at why recommendations from previous reports have not been implemented.

Read more: Lexi Daken’s family says provincial review a ‘good first step’

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He’s referring to reports like Mike McKee’s Together into the Future. The now-retired judge says his report, released in 2009, included 80 recommendations that could serve as building blocks toward rebuilding New Brunswick’s mental health system.

He says that had those recommendations been put in place, they could have saved Lexi Daken.

“The mental health system, again, has failed and continues to fail,” McKee said.

“Enough is enough. This leads us to action. We need action.”

Click to play video: 'N.B. launches mental health review after teen’s death' N.B. launches mental health review after teen’s death
N.B. launches mental health review after teen’s death – Mar 4, 2021

McKee said that he was heartbroken by Daken’s story and that the culture shift around mental health has not been matched by evolution in the health care system.

“To simply wait and react and do patchwork and tinkering is not the transformation I was hoping for,” he said.

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Bossé said he’ll meet with the province next week to request the funds necessary to complete the review.

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