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

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Kids from a MOSS Sailing Camp sail just off Canal Waterfront Park in Alberni Inlet during a day camp in August 2014. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
MOSS Sailing camps return to Alberni Valley

One-week camps designed for kids will take place at Sproat Lake

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

The Rollin Art Centre is holding children’s art camps this summer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Celebrate art in the garden

Rollin Art Centre will host art event on Saturday, June 26

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

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 Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read