Mother in mourning will protest today for addiction services

Teresa Wright
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Protest will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Province House

The mother of a man believed to have taken his own life as a result of drug addiction will stage a protest Tuesday in the hopes of getting government to provide more services for addicted Islanders.

Dianne Young's son Lennon Waterman would have turned 30 on Monday. He has been missing since early November.

Young believes he took his own life by leaping into the cold North River. RCMP found his clothes on the North River causeway after receiving reports of a man on the causeway the night of Nov. 8, 2013.

On Monday, a tearful Young and her daughter placed flowers on the causeway, to mark Lennon's 30th birthday.

“I can't let his death be in vain,” she said in an interview Monday.

“He was a sweet little boy, he was a kind and gentle soul... I feel like his spirit is still alive and I feel like he's with me and he wants me to do this because he wasn't able to get help, but other people might be able to get it from his story.”

Young says her son spent the last decade tormented by mental illness, hooked on highly potent and addictive prescription drugs.

She says he went to detox several times, but always relapsed due to a lack of follow up care or long-term rehabilitation programs for adults.

Young's protest on Tuesday evening will call on the provincial government to provide more treatment options and services for Islanders who become trapped in the disease of addiction.

She said she was greatly disappointed to see no new spending included in last week's provincial budget dedicated to addictions.

“There's not one penny in the budget for addictions, but there's money in the budget for parties,” Young said, referencing spending on celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference this year.

“Where are Premier Ghiz's priorities? He said in an interview in December that mental health was his priority. What happened with that? You're only as good as your word,” Young said.

She said she hopes her protest will bring the conversation to the legislature and make government strongly consider offering more mental health and addictions services.

The protest will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Province House.

Organizations: Province House, RCMP, Islanders

Geographic location: North River, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Fed up
    April 15, 2014 - 20:07

    Mmmm "Well Mr Fed Up" Ghiz follower...I am negative...as you call it...for a good reason. I am sick and tired of this government putting us second to their ridiculous ideas. My spouse hit Emergency when Dr Midgeley WAS here...turned out to be leaking aneurysm. In O.R. within 1/2 hour...Doc said 1-2 hours would have meant DEATH!! So instead of sticking your nose in...when you have no idea how serious it is not to have a Vascular Surgeon. I would be alone if it happened now with No Vascular Surgeon. Ghiz and Puppets NEED to have someone close. Before they realize the importance. themselves...to have some of these problems. They are Young, healthy, big incomes...private nurse, private doctor...young /healthy to travel to NS or NB. My parent has skin Cancer...travels to Halifax or Saint John for treatments....Not young...not healthy. Sick for days after travelling. Other parent had it when we had Dr Kline...Dermatologist...we have NONE under Ghiz government....same treatments but 15 min there and back. Soooo I DO know the importance of getting rid of this government! LIFE OR DEATH without a Vascular Surgeon...AND more doctors and nurses!! They just keep increasing gas and anything else they draw taxes from...I,e,HST they ran Election promise on that they would NOT bring in..."A Doctor for Every Islander". Unbelievable that anyone would vote for them a second time! I voted for him the first time...I'm smart enough to learn from my mistakes...apparently YOU aren't!

  • Fed up
    April 15, 2014 - 16:29

    As Don says, if you think this arrogant government cares about this situation...or any other that makes sense...forget the trouble of protesting! Just check how many young people are sent to NB for treatment...imagine what that costs...but these idiots just let it go on. Just also think how many people...majority are seniors...are sent to Halifax to a vascular surgeon. Along with cost...people are LOSING THEIR FEET...AND THEIR LEGS...because of a blockage that isn't picked up here. They are sent to Dr Midgeley in Halifax...most of them way too late for him to save a foot or leg...some too late to save from aneurysms....only because Ghiz and his followers won't listen to the people that we need two vascular surgeons on PEI. This doctor tried to stay...even gave up his family trying to help Islanders...but this bunch would rather...yes Plan B...and UGLYMOUMDS OF DIRT...in their "wisdom" they call "waves" in Borden than to save lives! I don't like to wish ill on someone, but one of their family...or friends...have to have an aneurysm...or blood clots...or....with no Dermatologist...they have to have a skin Camcer...before they do anything! It's embarrassing for PEI to be so short of medical care...doctors and nurses. We are spending millions.of OUR money to send people to NS and NB for treatment. They must be laughing at our government!

    • Well Mr Fed Up
      April 15, 2014 - 17:32

      Continue to post negative comments(as apparently that is all you are any good for); continue to wish ill will on others and guess what?? Everything you dish out will come flowing back to you - tenfold!! But then you will probably blame government for that too.

  • june gillis
    April 15, 2014 - 12:29

    I cannot believe that this gov. pours money into worthless projects instead of the drug problem on pei. money spent on PLANB and those terrible looking so called waves in BORDEN. I AM ASHAMED OF OUR GOVERMENT.HOW ABOUT YOU MR. PREMIER.DO YOU VALUE OUR YOUTH? I pray you will do something to protect our youth as they are our future

  • LookattheWaste
    April 15, 2014 - 10:47

    Shame on the Provincial Government for providing cars for politicians and government employees (yes, they are!!!!) but not spending any money to save youth and their families from this terrible disease. Get together people, start a class action suit. Addiction is a disease. The disease has no cure but there is treatment and the PEI government is denying treatment. Check out your Human Rights Act... I believe that to deny treatment for a disease goes against your human rights in Canada.

  • Supporter
    April 15, 2014 - 10:00

    I wish you the best Diane and commemorate your efforts in fighting for the services that PEI needs so desperately. It's unfortunate that we live in a province that has such little resources and our governments agenda doesn't intend on fixing that. I wish I could be there with you tonight fighting for change, I wish you the best of luck don't stop fighting!

  • trishie
    April 15, 2014 - 08:00

    Shame on the PEI Government and tax payers who support the spending of money on 2014 on celebrations rather than taking care of the mental health of our citizens. I have lost a relative and a friend to suicide last year due to prescription addiction and a suicide of a spouse a few years ago due to lack of help for mental health. The lack of mental health help and the fact we have no facility to house for long term treatment is pathetic. I am an embarrass Islander knowing my provinces priorities are so screwed up!

  • Parent
    April 15, 2014 - 07:40

    Thank you, Diane, for organizing this. I will be there. I hope you get a fantastic turnout. It is time that the PEI Government started treating the disease of addiction, just like any other disease, and provide treatment. It is an absolute waste of taxpayers dollars to do otherwise. This is way more important than an unwanted and unneeded Plan B highway or a party to celebrate something that happened 100 years ago. Our government is completely out of touch with the real issues on PEI.

  • don
    April 15, 2014 - 07:14

    lady if you think the minister or this government cares one tiny little bit then you need help. they will do research upon research and spend hundreds of thousands of your money to hire friends to tell them what they want to hear and to cover things up and in hope you get tired protesting. and after a few years they ill say everything is ok. and do nothing till just before they need your vote then they will do just enough to get the votes then after they get in to hell with everything as they need to help fellow poor liberals make more money. this they have showed and proved over the past few years. but islanders has shown they are o dumb to put them out.

    • Heather
      April 15, 2014 - 15:00

      How dare you sat Diane needs help! Look in the mirror! You are in no place to judge remember! Oh you are so arrogant!

  • Fed Up
    April 15, 2014 - 06:21

    I am so fed up with my tax dollars going to big corporations, long parties, ridiculous highways, luxuries for politicians and saving the a$$ of poorly managed businesses. All of this at the expense of where tax dollars SHOULD be going in my opinion. To help people who are sick, hungry, cold, and trapped where they are because they have no way out. And when someone goes out on the street to protest or point out these flaws to the gov't or the sheople, they're labels as "activists", something to be ignored or laughed at. Everyone on this island should take a long hard look at what THEY are doing to point out the flaws. Anything? I wish this woman all the best and hope she has better luck than I turning on a few lightbulbs around here.

  • In Support
    April 15, 2014 - 06:01

    Things have to change, children are literally dying for help.