Ally Thomas, 12, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren’t available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adriana Londono

Ally Thomas, 12, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren’t available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adriana Londono

Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

British Columbia’s minister of mental health and addictions say a suspected overdose death of a 12-year-old girl from Vancouver Island is driving the government “to do more and do better.”

But Sheila Malcolmson says she needs to learn more details about the case of Ally Thomas, who died April 14, before commenting specifically on what the government can do.

Ally’s mother, Adriana Londono, says her daughter had overdosed three times before her fourth fatal “cry for help.”

Londono says the family tried to get her support but was only given a list of counsellors, an avenue Ally wasn’t willing to take.

She says the family was told by government staff that Ally was too young to qualify for rehab because she was under 14.

READ MORE: Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

The Children’s Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It was extremely frustrating, there was nothing we could do,” Londono said in an interview on Friday.

“Ally was frustrated too. She was crying for help but she didn’t get the help she needed.”

Malcolmson said the government is working “as hard as we can” to build a system of care that offers a variety of different supports, including the app.

“This is a terrible story that just re-strengthens our commitment as a government to build the kind of addictions and mental health care system that anybody can access,” Malcolmson said.

RELATED: 5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Addictions treatmentmental health

Just Posted

Some algae is visible at the swimming ponds at Millennium Park. Photo: Betsy Kline
City of Castlegar says Millennium Ponds safe, in spite of algae

Water samples are regularly sent to Interior Health

Black Press file photo
City of Castlegar plans to offer dumpster for small amounts of summer garbage

Bear Smart initiative looking to reduce wildlife conflict

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read