Fatality inquiry into 2007 suicide makes no recommendations

The fatality inquiry report into the 2007 suicide of Red Deer mother had no recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

The fatality inquiry report into the 2007 suicide of Red Deer mother had no recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

According to the report released on Monday, the 26-year-old unemployed woman was found dead by her daughter on June 6, 2007. She died after drinking a large quantity of alcohol and took an overdose of the prescribed sleeping pills Zopiclone.

A fatality inquiry is held if there needs to be some clarification on cause, manner, time, place or circumstances of death, if there’s a possibility of preventing a death, or if the public needs to be protected.

Alberta Justice spokesperson Julie Siddons said suicides are typically not the subject of fatality inquiries.

Most inquiries are held because they are mandatory and involve fatalities of children in guardianship or the custody of Alberta Children’s Services, a death in police custody or a mental health facility.

This inquiry looked at whether intervention by the province’s Children’s Services or Mental Health Services could have prevented the death and if similar deaths could be prevented in the future.

The woman, known only as J.D.F. in the public report to protect the identity of her daughter, had a lengthy history of major depression and alcohol abuse. She had attempted suicide in the past.

In 2006, Children’s Services had contact with the woman over concerns about her substance abuse and mental health issues. It was determined that no protection services were required for her child.

The woman had been through a substance abuse program and was under the care of her general practitioner for depression at the time of her death.

But she consistently denied her alcohol abuse or that she was suicidal. She did not continue therapy.

“Given her representations and her own lack of follow-through, I do not believe that the outcome would have changed. I am unable to make any recommendations to prevent future occurrences such as this,” said provincial court Judge J.A. Hunter in his report.

“Even those who saw or spoke to J.D.F. the day or night of her death did not think anything amiss.”