Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Teen suicides rock Pembroke, eastern Ontario city: Canada

Residents of Pembroke, Ont., are devastated and looking for answers after three teenagers committed suicide over the last four months.

Community members, including many parents and students, met Tuesday evening in Pembroke, about 150 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, to discuss how to tackle concerns surrounding teen suicide.

The issue has reached its peak in the city of just under 15,000 people, according to many, and the biggest obstacle is finding treatment once a problem is identified.

Monique Yashinskie’s son Robbie Dean, 18, committed suicide on Aug. 19.

Yashinskie said her son struggled with depression, but she could not find the right help.

"We were looking for help and we couldn't find it, and nobody had answers for us, and it seems sometimes we were just shrugged off," Yashinskie told the CBC’s David Gerow.

The mother even called in mental-health experts from Ottawa's Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to help her son. She called them again to help lead the Tuesday discussion.

Yashinskie said she wanted other parents and community members to be educated about suicide, and the discussion attracted hundreds of interested parents and teens. more