Warning: This story offers with critical psychological well being issues and suicide.
The household of a man who took his personal life at Province Home, the historic seat of the P.E.I. Legislature, says police and well being officers failed him. Now, they’re searching for solutions.
Laura Knockwood says she believes her 34-year-old husband, Tyler Knockwood, would nonetheless be alive as we speak if officers had heeded her warnings.
“I instructed them that he was going to die,” Knockwood mentioned from her Charlottetown residence.
“I did not be ok with the state of affairs, I did not know the place Tyler was, and I knew that he was alone and I knew that he wasn’t effectively.”
Knockwood describes her husband as her greatest pal, the daddy of their two youngsters, and a big man who commanded a room at 6 ft, 4 inches.
A member of Lennox Island First Nation, he had discovered a brand new ardour engaged on the restoration of Province Home. It was a constructing he felt so hooked up to that he donated an eagle feather to Parks Canada, which operates the constructing, for use throughout a smudging ceremony.
However Knockwood mentioned her husband struggled with psychological well being and addictions from an early age.
“He was actually attempting, you already know, all the pieces that he might do to develop himself as a greater particular person. And he actually tried, he fought laborious,” mentioned Knockwood.
“For Tyler, there was a whole lot of stigma round being an Indigenous man with psychological well being points.”
Island Morning12:55Spouse of P.E.I. man discovered lifeless says police, well being system failed him
Spiralled in January
Over the past three years, Knockwood mentioned she seen her husband changing into extra reserved and withdrawn.
However that was just the start.
In mid-January, Knockwood mentioned, her husband’s excessive paranoia prompted him to depart their residence, three days earlier than he took his personal life.
Hours later, she acquired a textual content that he had damage himself. Tyler known as 911 and was taken to hospital.
“He self-harmed, so he had minimize himself, and that was the primary time he had ever performed that — ever,” mentioned Knockwood.
Regardless of the seriousness of the difficulty, Knockwood mentioned she felt reduction as a result of lastly, her husband had reached out for assist.
However 24 hours later, her husband was launched from the hospital with none assist plan or follow-up care, she mentioned — regardless that he instructed hospital employees he had withdrawn a considerable amount of money from their account and meant to depart the town, one thing she mentioned was fully out of character for him.
“I am undecided how these pink flags of him having greater than $5,000 money in his pocket, and the truth that he was going to e book a airplane ticket to Montreal and go together with no bag — he did not have garments, he simply had what he was sporting and his pockets and this bundle of money in his pocket — I am going to by no means perceive it.”
Tyler flew to Montreal after which instantly circled and bought a flight again to P.E.I.
“He was operating from his psychological well being and I do not understand how, you already know, we had been the one ones seeing that.”
Knockwood mentioned when her husband returned, he was coping with “excessive paranoia” and hadn’t slept for days.
“We ended up making the 911 name as a result of I used to be scared — for him, primarily, but additionally as a result of he was not performing like himself,” she mentioned.
“I needed to take my youngsters into consideration. I’ve by no means been afraid of my husband however I used to be nervous of what this paranoia might presumably result in.”
Police got here thrice
Over the following 24 hours, she mentioned, Charlottetown Police Companies had been known as to the home on three separate events.
However they by no means took him again to hospital, which Knockwood believes may need saved his life.
Her sister, Michelle MacArthur, agrees. She mentioned she pleaded with police to take Tyler to hospital.
“We saved asking: ‘Is he going to go to the hospital?’ they usually mentioned: ‘No, he would not meet the standards, so we won’t make him.’ I used to be like: ‘He must see a health care provider.'”
After the police division’s third go to, officers dropped Tyler off in downtown Charlottetown.
Early the following morning, police returned this time to inform Knockwood her husband had ended his life contained in the place he cherished a lot, Province Home.
They let our complete household down. They let his children down. They let his mother down. They let his spouse down. His nieces and nephews.— Michelle MacArthur
“It simply broke me,” mentioned Knockwood, who was already coping with the lack of her mom in October.
“There is a piece of me that can by no means have peace as a result of I do know that my husband can be alive as we speak if he had simply been transported to the hospital. I do know he would.”
MacArthur mentioned the system did not fail Tyler alone.
“They let our complete household down. They let his children down. They let his mother down. They let his spouse down. His nieces and nephews.”
Companies react to questions
Knockwood has filed a grievance with Charlottetown Police Companies over how the state of affairs was dealt with.
In an electronic mail to CBC Information, Charlottetown Police Chief Brad MacConnell confirmed a grievance had been acquired however didn’t reply any particular questions on how police dealt with the calls to the Knockwood residence.
Parks Canada, which operates Province Home, confirmed there was “a tragic state of affairs the place a person misplaced their life at Province Home final month.”
In an announcement, the federal company mentioned: “We want to prolong our deepest and most honest condolences to household, pals and the neighborhood. Grief counsellors and extra helps have been made out there to the employees on the website.”
Out of respect for Tyler Kockwood’s household and neighborhood, Parks Canada mentioned it could not remark additional on the matter.
Well being P.E.I. despatched CBC Information an electronic mail saying it doesn’t touch upon the circumstances of particular sufferers however “sympathizes with the household for his or her loss as they undergo this extremely tough time.”
On the whole, the company’s assertion mentioned, people who’ve contact with psychological well being companies are supplied with a referral plan for follow-up on their case.
“People are in a position to settle for or decline these companies,” it wrote.
Name for sensitivity coaching
Knockwood mentioned police and well being officers want extra sensitivity coaching, particularly when coping with Indigenous folks and intergenerational trauma.
“Tyler by no means wished to turn out to be a statistic — particularly in relation to Aboriginal youth dropping their lives,” she mentioned.
For those who or somebody you already know is struggling, this is the place to get assist: