Monday, August 8, 2016

Canada: Military Missed Opportunity to Save Suicidal of Soldier

Military had chance to "lessen the likelihood" of soldier suicide, judge says
The Canadian Press
By Chris Purdy
Posted: Aug 06, 2016

PTSD-diagnosed soldier "would have been handled entirely differently" if diagnosis was known
A fatality inquiry into the death of Cpl. Shaun Collins,
a 27-year-old Canadian Forces soldier, suggested the military
could have lessened the likelihood of his death. (Supplied)

A judge says the military had several opportunities to prevent or lower the risk of suicide for an Edmonton soldier who hanged himself in a holding cell five years ago.

Cpl. Shaun Collins, 27, killed himself at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton after he was arrested by military police for drunk driving on March 11, 2011.

Provincial court Judge Jody Moher said in a fatality inquiry report released late Friday afternoon that things could have been done to try to save the soldier.

"It is irrefutable that there were a number of potential opportunities to obviate or lessen the likelihood of Shaun Collins committing suicide that evening," she said.

​Moher said no one did a computer search that night on Collins after his arrest.

A search would have found that Collins, a member of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after he returned from his second tour in Afghanistan in 2010. He had also tried kill himself, or threatened to kill himself, four times and was being transitioned out of the military.

The judge wrote that information on the soldier's mental health was available on a military computer system. But a comssionaire, dispatcher and three military police officers on duty did not do a check and placed him alone in a cell.
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