Parents of Kelowna teen who took her own life speak out about mental health

Georgia McAlpine took her life in 2016. She wanted her parents to continue the conversation on mental health.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Georgia McAlpine via Facebook

KELOWNA - Georgia McAlpine took her life just before her 19th birthday. In her suicide note she told her parents to open up the conversation on mental health, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

In a video released by Kelowna General Hospital as part of a fundraising campaign for a new mental health care centre for youth and families, Cam and Jenny McAlpine speak about the importance of talking about mental health.

“What I want to see happen is for mental health to be taken more seriously,” Cam said in the video. “So that there aren’t more people like Georgia who get to a point in their life and feel like they don’t have any choice than to take their own life.”

In her suicide letter, Georgia McAlpine asked her parents to keep the conversation going on mental health.
In her suicide letter, Georgia McAlpine asked her parents to keep the conversation going on mental health.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Facebook

There are few mental health services in Kelowna, and there are lengthy wait lists for them. Georgia was on three separate wait lists for support groups when she took her life.

For those struggling with a mental health crisis, the only place they can go is Kelowna General Hospital.

The video is part of a campaign titled Not Alone and aims to raise $2 million for Foundry Kelowna. The integrated youth mental health care centre will house over 20 different service providers including counselling and primary care to substance abuse. It's scheduled to open later this year.

According to the video, over 1,200 youth went to the emergency department at Kelowna General Hospital in 2015 for help with substance abuse and mental health.

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