Tyler Knockwood, 34, was found dead shortly after his family asked police for help.
Warning: This story deals with serious mental health concerns and suicide.
Charlottetown’s police chief says the service has requested an external review into how city officers handled the case of a P.E.I. man found dead at Province House last month, shortly after his family had called for police intervention.
Tyler Knockwood’s family has told CBC News they believe police and health officials could have prevented his death by suicide, if they had taken action when relatives asked for help.
“We’re certainly open to the family’s concerns and questions and I’ve asked an external police agency to review our contact and the complaint laid by the family,” Charlottetown police Chief Brad MacConnell said Thursday.
The 34-year-old man’s wife, Laura Knockwood, said police were called to their home three times the day before he died because his mental health was deteriorating to a worrisome degree.
She wanted them to take him to hospital to be assessed and treated by mental health professionals.
Instead, she said, after the third police visit, officers took Tyler Knockwood from the house and dropped him off in downtown Charlottetown near the historic seat of Prince Edward Island’s legislature, where he had been working on a restoration project.
The family of Tyler Knockwood wants to see changes to the emergency mental health system, changes they believe would have prevented the 34-year-old man’s death last month.
His body was found there on Jan. 17.
Laura Knockwood has filed a complaint with Charlottetown Police.
The chief said the review will be carried out by Summerside Police Services, “certainly to promote transparency, but [also] to have a fresh set of eyes because we want to make sure as an agency that everything was done that could be done.”
MacConnell expects the review will take a few weeks, and could be made public once it’s complete.
If you or someone you know is struggling, here’s where to get help:
- Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 (phone) | 45645 (text)
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (phone), live chat counselling on the website.
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre.
- This guide from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health outlines how to talk about suicide with someone you’re worried about.
With files from Wayne Thibodeau
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca