Emily Rose laid down a kindness rocks at a tribute to 16-year-old Andre Courtemanche, whose body was found Saturday at Goldstream Provincial Park in Langford. (Emily Rose photo)

Emily Rose laid down a kindness rocks at a tribute to 16-year-old Andre Courtemanche, whose body was found Saturday at Goldstream Provincial Park in Langford. (Emily Rose photo)

‘It’s heartbreaking:’ Calls for increased mental health support following death of Langford teen

16-year-old Andre Courtemanche’s body was found at Goldstream Provincial Park

Two days after Andre Courtemanche disappeared on a cold January night, his parents received a phone call to book an appointment for the 16-year-old with a psychiatrist – a call they had been waiting on for two years.

But the call was too late. On the evening of Jan. 9, Andre’s body was discovered at Goldstream Provincial Park in Langford by volunteer groups, including Metchosin and Juan de Fuca search and rescue teams.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Kirsten Marten, the organizer of the Facebook search group. “No child should ever feel as destitute as Andre was that day, believing that there was nothing left. Depression took over his life. This lack of support cannot happen to any more kids.”

Marten didn’t know the Courtemanche family before Andre went missing, but the mother of two quickly built a bond with Andre’s parents.

She said Andre’s story shines a light on a bigger conversation around mental health among teens and her belief that there aren’t enough supports in place to help the next generation.

READ MORE: Body of missing 16-year-old Langford teen found in Goldstream Provincial Park

Lareen Buckley, an education assistant at Sangster Elementary, said she’s seen students of all ages struggle with mental health issues.

She believes there isn’t enough provincial funding for mental health initiatives for youth when it comes to early intervention and prevention services. She has a psychiatrist for one of her own children who suffers from mental illness but has struggled to help him remain stable – instead of in and out of a hospital bed.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental health disorders in youth are ranked as the second-highest hospital care expenditure in Canada, with 3.2 million youth between the ages of 12 and 19 at risk for developing depression.

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.

Marten added that she plans to start advocating to have barriers built at Goldstream Trestle.

“Did Andre really want to do it or did he just have a moment of weakness?” said Marten. “If there was a barrier, would he have stopped and re-thought his decision? Now, we will never know.”

While 84,000 children in B.C. are experiencing a mental health challenge at any given time, only one in three are accessing the services they need, according to B.C.’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions in Canada.

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.

– with files from Nina Grossman

ALSO READ: Mental Health – Fractured services leave community to fill gaps


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

mental healthWest Shore

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Metchosin institution

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

The Capital Regional Hospital District has approved awarding a tender to QM Environmental for the demolition and hazardous materials disposal of the Oak Bay Lodge. (Black Press Media File)
Winning bidder approved for Oak Bay Lodge demolition

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $4.266 million budget for project

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

Victoria’s property tax policy for 2021 will save business owners a little money. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria gives businesses a tax break for 2021

Council decreases tax burden to support pandemic-hit merchants

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Most Read