News / Halifax

Cody Glode’s death should be ‘wake up call’ for Nova Scotia government: opposition

NDP health critic, PC leader demanding action over mental health from the Liberal government.

PC leader Jamie Baillie (left) and NDP health critic Dave Wilson are calling on the Liberal government to take action on mental health care in the province.

Metro file

PC leader Jamie Baillie (left) and NDP health critic Dave Wilson are calling on the Liberal government to take action on mental health care in the province.

Both opposition parties in Nova Scotia’s legislature are calling on the government to take action on mental health care in the province after a young man’s death earlier this month.

Metro reported this week that young Truro MMA fighter and firefighter Cody Glode took his own life after seeking mental health care and being told he’d have to wait months to see a psychiatrist.

“I hope it’s a wake up call for the government, and the minister, and the premier so that they will look at this and invest in mental health in the next budget,” NDP health critic Dave Wilson said Wednesday.

Wilson warned that without action, stories like Cody’s would continue to happen.

“We’re going to continue hearing of sad, sad situations like Cody Glode,” he said. “People are not going to get the access and many who find they have lost that battle with depression end up taking their own lives. That's the reality.”

Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie has been calling on the government to call an inquiry into mental health care in the province for almost a year.

“It’s just heartbreaking to see this young man feel he had nowhere to turn, his family desperately trying to get him help, and he got discouraged and lost his fight with mental illness,” he said Wednesday.

“It’s the health care crisis of our time, and I think we’re all getting tired of watching as promising young Nova Scotians like Cody lose their battle with mental illness.”

Health minister Leo Glavine.

Metro file

Health minister Leo Glavine.

“We are working on a stronger provincial approach,” Health Minister Leo Glavine said on Wednesday.

“We’re now putting together, for the first time, a coordinated standard of care that will be implemented across the province.”

Glavine said the doctor in charge of mental health services in the province “has been doing visits and putting together a clinical services review for mental health,” but gave no timeline on the review.

“They can’t wait,” Wilson said. “People need the help now.”

“Cody himself was crying out for help, and he didn’t get it in time,” Baillie said.

“That’s a tragedy that we have to work to avoid in the future.”

Premier Stephen McNeil speaks to reporters at Province House on Tuesday.

Jeff Harper/Metro

Premier Stephen McNeil speaks to reporters at Province House on Tuesday.

Premier ‘doesn’t know the specifics,’ but says province is grieving for Glode’s family

Premier Stephen McNeil said Wednesday the province is grieving for Cody Glode’s family.

“I don’t know the specifics of this case, but obviously it’s tragic when we hear that a Nova Scotia family and a young person has lost their life here in our province,” McNeil said after an event on Wednesday.

“No Nova Scotian that reaches out for support should go without support.”

McNeil said health minister Leo Glavine is “working to try to unify the mental health supports across the region, across our province,” and working with “partners to make sure that we’re providing that system not just in one dedicated part of our province, but making sure that there’s that support out in the community.”

He also suggested that the province’s amalgamated health care system -- which merged nine health authorities into one in 2014 -- is better equipped to handle mental health care than the old system.

“This is exactly why the minister is trying to bring together, and making sure those supports are linked as opposed to being caught in the old regional health authorities, where we have one system across our region,” he said. - with files from Dylan DesRoche - For Metro

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