B.C. Liberal MLA opens up about her recovery and why she supports compassionate involuntary care
Elenore Sturko can still hear the cries of the mother who watched her son jump to his death 14 years ago.
Sturko, a Langley RCMP officer at the time, arrived at the scene to see the distraught mother looking on as paramedics tried, unsuccessfully, to resuscitate the man. The mother had hours earlier brought her son, who struggled with addiction, to hospital after he threatened to kill himself. The hospital didn’t certify the man under the Mental Health Act and sent them home. As the mother drove away from the hospital, the man jumped out of the car and followed through with his threats.
Sturko, who retired from the Surrey RCMP last year after she was elected B.C. Liberal MLA in Surrey South, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from the incident and turned to alcohol to cope. Now sober for almost three years, Sturko still thinks of that mother, whose story shaped her position as Opposition mental-health and addictions critic that in some cases, involuntary care can sometimes save lives.
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