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Report on emergency mental health care at Horizon Health completed: N.B. health

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The New Brunswick government is launching a review into its mental health supports one week after a Fredericton teen’s family went public with their grief and frustration – Mar 4, 2021

Warning: This story contains content that may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.

The report on a review of emergency mental health care at Horizon Health in the wake of the death of Lexi Daken has been completed.

In a Thursday morning statement, the Department of Health confirmed that Health Minister Dorothy Shephard has received the report from Horizon Health and is reviewing its contents.

“The Minister plans to have a round-table meeting with stakeholders shortly and will have more news to share after the meeting in the coming days,” read the email.

Shephard announced the crisis mental health services review in a briefing last month, one week after a New Brunswick teenager died following a failed attempt to get psychiatric help.

Read more: ‘I mean it’ — N.B. health minister announces crisis care review after Lexi Daken’s death

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Sixteen-year-old Lexi died by suicide on Feb. 24. Her mother took to Facebook the next day in an outcry, saying the health-care system failed her daughter.

In the provincial briefing, Shephard said she had asked both Horizon Health and Vitalité Health Networks to provide recommendations for how care in crisis situations could be improved, with an end-of-month deadline.

She had also announced that the province will be conducting an extensive review of its mental health services in the wake of Daken’s death.

New Brunswick’s Child, Youth and Seniors’ Advocate Norman Bossé was chosen to lead the review. He told Global News in March that the review of mental health crisis services in the province will be timely, independent and public.

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Lexi’s family said last month that these are good first steps.

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“We met with the minister yesterday,” Chris Daken said in a March 4 interview. “I think she’s a very sincere woman. When she gives her word she means what she says.”

He said change is long overdue in the mental health system – especially when those in crisis go to an emergency room as Lexi did.

According to the province, more on the report from Horizon Health is coming. No update was provided on the report from Vitalité Health Network.

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