WINNIPEG – It’s been less than a week since a Winnipeg woman’s body was pulled from the Red River after she took her own life. However, her loved ones and now mental health professionals are calling for change.
61-year-old Jill Tardiff was just one of thousands of Canadians who live with severe depression and last week the disease became to much for her.
Tardiff was reported missing on Sept. 7, hours after she was discharged from hospital after an attempt at taking her life. Just three days later, her body was pulled from the river.
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“It robbed her of all of that spark and that life and that joie de vivre that she had,” said Debbie Lazaruk, her best friend of 55 years.
In the ten to 14 day period before Tardiff ended up killing herself she had attempted two other times; both times she was discharged from hospital and sent home. Her loved ones said the system failed her.
“We didn’t do enough because she’s not here with us,” said Lazaruk.
Mental health professionals agree.
“I had a call 3 weeks before this almost identical,” said
Tara Brousseau-Snider, the executive director of the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. “This isn’t unusual right now. We do need to really look at how we are discharging people into the community. We need a better discharge plan.”
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority stands by the treatment provided and said it was “appropriate.”
“It is important to remember that discharge from hospital does not always mean a patient is fully recovered. It means, however, that the patient’s condition no longer requires acute care in a hospital,” said a spokesperson.
The Mood Disorders Association is calling for the WRHA and the province to review its protocols.
“I just wonder at what point are you not in acute care when you are at risk and can die,” said Brousseau-Snider.
She told Global News that in order to see a psychiatrist it’s up to a year wait. It order to see a psychologist that might be publicly funded it’s up to a year wait.
Neither the WRHA nor the province could provide wait times.