June 17, 2024

Health Mettler Institute

Healthy LifeStyle & Education

Parents say daughter died after mental-health system failed her

Parents say daughter died after mental-health system failed her

The mom and dad of a woman who lived in Dartmouth, N.S., say their daughter died following currently being turned away from a psychological-well being clinic, and they want to know why it was so difficult for her to get assist.

Yuliya Andriychuk, 32, froze to death outside in a neighbourhood in close proximity to the Woodlawn Library in November, just after her appointment at the clinic was cancelled, her parents say.

“The death of our daughter is simply because of the mental well being program,” Yuliya’s father, Michael Andriychuk, informed CBC News. 

Michael and his spouse, Irina, say their daughter had struggled to reliably entry mental well being care in modern decades, and they blame a lack of employees.

She acquired correct treatment method at instances, they say, but she was neglected in the weeks primary up to her death. 

‘They dropped her’

The Andriychuks say their spouse and children moved to Canada from Latvia in 2000. Yuliya went to substantial university in Halifax, they say, and returned to the region in new decades following heading to college out of province.

She was beautiful and clever with an enjoyable long term forward, her mom and dad say. She had several hobbies like producing, portray and fishing, and was in her remaining yr of learning psychology at Dalhousie University.

“My daughter, whatever she did, she did to the full extent,” her father claims.

Yuliya experienced also been dwelling with melancholy because 2020. They say she gained varying degrees of care when her mental wellness deteriorated. 

A daughter and her mother pose for a picture while on vacation.
Irina Andriychuk says her daughter died mainly because of the point out of Nova Scotia’s mental-well being technique. (Submitted by Andriychuk relatives)

She struggled to entry care at initially, they say. Acquiring enable was so demanding for their daughter that they despatched a letter to the wellness minister at the time.

She was finally admitted to clinic, and experienced three prolonged stays in the three years ahead of she died. 

During her 2nd keep in 2021, they say Yuliya was remaining unsupervised and managed to leave the clinic.

Father and daughter pose for a picture in front of an antique car while on vacation.
Michael Andriychuk claims when he arrived at out to medical doctors to check out to get his daughter enable, he was told her file was private. (Submitted by Andriychuk family members)

She walked out of the Abbie J. Lane Memorial constructing in Halifax and around the bridge to Dartmouth in her socks, and confirmed up at property at 4 a.m. 

“They misplaced her,” Irina says. “We ended up definitely stunned by what occurred.”

Through the exact keep, her father states he returned Yuliya to the medical center soon after a weekend out to uncover her mattress had been taken by yet another patient.

A woman sits in front of a computer camera in her home during a Zoom interview.
Dana Pulsifer, senior director for psychological well being and addictions, says the major outcome the staffing shortages are possessing is on entry to psychological assessments. (CBC)

When Yuliya did receive extensive cure, the Andriychuks say her mental health enhanced.

In the weeks in advance of her death, they say she went to the hospital for assistance mainly because she was having difficulties, and waited three times to see a specialist.

As a substitute of being retained for comprehensive remedy, the Andriychuks say Yuliya was discharged.

She went to the Dartmouth mental wellbeing clinic for an appointment two weeks later, they say, but she was instructed it experienced been cancelled.

Yuliya died afterwards that night.

“What is the reason?” Michael Andriychuk claims. “The lack of workers. Everybody is familiar with it.”

Far more staff necessary

In Oct, which is the most latest thirty day period for which info is out there, the emptiness rate for comprehensive-time psychologists doing work for the wellness authority was 33 for each cent. 

For comprehensive-time medical therapist positions, it was 34 per cent – that is up from 22 for every cent in October 2020.

The time period clinical therapist can signify quite a few positions these kinds of as occupational therapists, social workers, counselling therapists or masters psychologists, according to Nova Scotia Overall health.

Dana Pulsifer, senior director of the Mental Health and fitness and Addictions Software at Nova Scotia Wellness, suggests they can not remark on person cases due to privateness rules, but the overall health authority does perform inner critiques when incidents like this occur.

But she acknowledges the past couple decades have been “a bit harder … like everywhere else in wellbeing care.”

A man sits in front of a computer camera with a head set on.
Dr. Andrew Harris, senior health care director for psychological health and addictions, says they have experienced recent accomplishment recruiting mental well being specialists to underserved spots in Nova Scotia. (CBC)

Operating this shorter-staffed is a challenge but the section has uncovered strategies to keep on supplying a significant degree of treatment to those who will need it, Pulsifer suggests.

“We pivot very speedily,” she claims. “Because we function as a sort of a multidisciplinary, comprehensive crew.”

Pulsifer also claims she’s unaware of any appointments at the mental-well being clinics remaining cancelled due to staffing shortages. 

The vacancies are just a person of the problems the health authority faces when “making an attempt to provide excellent proof-centered remedies and support and expert services in a timely way,” she claims.

The wellness authority has recently had some results in recruiting psychological wellness experts, states Dr. Andrew Harris, senior healthcare director for psychological health and addictions.

He says they have recruited various psychiatrists who are starting off to get the job done in underserved communities in the province. 

Harris says he needs Nova Scotians to know everybody performing for the wellness authority cares about the patients they serve.

“We’re incredibly informed that persons are occasionally disappointed that their perceived care desires are not satisfied by the method,” he stated. “But we do consider treatment of everyone. So everyone who would appear into our method is thoroughly evaluated by industry experts.”

The latest stage of provider still isn’t good plenty of for the Andriychuks while. They say if their daughter experienced acquired well timed and sufficient treatment, she would nevertheless be right here now. 

“She wished to are living, she experienced a whole lot of plans,” her mom claimed. “She did not get help.”


Any person struggling with mental health and fitness can contact 911 in an emergency, or the province’s toll-no cost mental health crisis line at 1-888-429-8167, which is offered 24 hours, 7 times a 7 days. To self-refer to a Community Psychological Wellness and Addictions clinic, call 1-855-922-1122 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. AT on weekdays,

Men and women can also contact the Young children Assist Mobile phone at 1-800-668-6868 anytime of working day.