In just one day of being launched, a GoFundMe in memory of 16-year-old Andre Courtemanche, whose body was found in Goldstream Provincial Park on Saturday (Jan. 9), has raised over $2,000.
The Langford teen had been suffering from depression and anxiety and had been waiting to get in to see a psychiatrist for two years. On the evening of Jan. 1, following a family argument, Andre walked out the door, turned down the railway tracks behind his house and disappeared into the night. That was the last time Andre’s parents saw him alive.
Andre’s body was recovered eight days later by search and rescue teams, near the Goldstream Trestle. Now, the GoFundMe page is looking to take action.
“It’s time for something to be done about the Goldstream Trestle,” the page reads. Donations will help the Courtemanche family lay Andre to rest and receive counselling. Organizers also hope to build barriers on the trestle bridge and support mental health.
“No child should ever feel as destitute as Andre was that day, believing that there was nothing left,” said Kirsten Marten, organizer of the Facebook search group, told Black Press Media previously. “Depression took over his life. This lack of support cannot happen to any more kids.”
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one of the leading causes of death in Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24 is suicide, with 4,000 people dying by suicide each year.
The Vancouver Island Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-888-494-3888. Crisis text services are available at 250-800-3806 between 6 and 10 p.m., seven days a week. For more local resources, go to goldstreamgazette.com/tag/mental-health-in-greater-victoria.
The GoFundMe page can be found at gofundme.com.
–With files from Nina Grossman
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