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

Rebecca Neudorf and Siddhartha Minhas express the joyful atmosphere of this year’s grad cavalcade. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Nelson grads and proud parents celebrate a community milestone

Saturday’s cavalcade was graced with perfect weather

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters block Castlegar’s main street for 24 hours

Members of Extinction Rebellion stayed overnight in downtown Castlegar

A bear-proof waste container at Lakeside Park. Not all garbage bins at the park are bear-proof. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Bear observed eating from garbage bin in Lakeside Park

The City of Nelson is gradually adding bear-proof bins throughout the city

Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Thomson. Photo: Tyler Harper
NEWS AND VIEWS: Businesses still need assistance even in a more normal summer

Tom Thomson writes about a new Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce initiative

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

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

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read