The predictable, preventable death
of Chloe Grace Highley
Growing up in Penticton, Chloe Highley was a bubbly kid who loved
Harry Potter, roadtrips and slushies.
But as she grew into a teenager, she began to withdraw from the world.
Her parents say she struggled with anxiety, depression, an eating disorder,
and eventually, drugs.
As her life spiralled out of control, Tricia and Danny Highley tried desperately
to get help through BC's health care system. That help never came.
On April 26th, 2015, Chloe Highley died of an accidental heroin overdose.
She was 18.
"We had to fight and claw and beg..."
-Tricia Highley, mother
The CBC's Chris Walker sat down with Danny and Tricia Highley
two days before their daughter's funeral.
"We don't cancel intakes."
-Dr. Jana Davidson,
BC Children's Hospital
The Highleys told us that, at the last minute,
BC Children's Hospital cancelled Chloe's appointment.
CBC reporter Brady Strachan spoke with Dr. Jana Davidson,
the head of child psychiatry at the hospital.
"It's a story we've heard several times."
Canadian Mental Health Association
The Canadian Mental Health Association says funding for youth mental health
in BC is not keeping up with demand.
We spoke with the Mike Gawliuk, Director of Service Delivery with the CMHA.
"This is not a political issue."
Parliamentary Secretary for Child Mental Health
During the week this series aired, a BC government committee started
public hearings into youth mental health.
Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite is the head of that committee,
and the parliamentary secretary for youth mental health.
Here's her conversation with the CBC's Chris Walker.