Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty says he receives messages or calls of another suicide every day and that Thursday the message he received was too close to home.
Doherty rose in the House of Commons of Canada on Friday and delivered an emotional tribute to Strathcona County firefighter Darren Anderson who lost his battle with PTSD on September 15th.
Doherty says he spoke with his mother and father who still reeling from the death of their son, have their concern focused on those left behind.
“His friends, his family, his fire family, even the young paramedics that attended the Humboldt tragedy, they asked me to convey this message to his colleagues,” Doherty said.
“Darren was so honored and proud to a part of the firefighting and first responder family. Please take care of one another. Take a moment to ask one another if they’re okay. Please be well.”
Doherty says he and Anderson grew up in Williams Lake.
“Darren touched the hearts of all who knew him and he will be greatly missed,” Doherty said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Darren’s wife and three daughters who he leaves behind.
“We are deeply saddened by the recent loss of one of our members, Lt. Darren Anderson,” Jeff Hutton, Acting Fire Chief, Strathcona County, said in a statement.
“There continues to be work ahead to ensure we have the supports available for our first responders when they need it most. That will come, but for now, we thank our colleagues, extended first responder families, partners, friends and family for their condolences and support as we process our grief.”
Doherty’s Bill C-211 which calls for a federal framework on PTSD passed third reading in the Senate in June.
He said at the time that he wasn’t satisfied with just passing it.
“We need to make sure that we are an active participant in the building of the framework,” he told MyCaribooNow.
“The government now has a time frame from the day the Bill has passed and receives royal assent that there are 18 months to tell Canadians and parliamentarians about the framework they have to build, the meetings they have had, and as they move forward.”
Bill C-211 will require the Minister of Health to convene a conference with the Minister of National Defence, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, provincial and territorial government representatives, representatives of the medical community, and patients’ groups for the purpose of developing a comprehensive federal framework to address the challenges of recognizing the symptoms and providing timely diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.