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The Globe and Mail

Panel probing teen’s death urges better mental-health services in rural B.C.

A coroner's jury in Kamloops B.C., has concluded an inquest into the death of 18-year-old Jacob Setah by calling for better mental health services in rural communities.

The recommendation was among 15 made by jurors examining Setah's death after he escaped from a psychiatric unit and jumped from the upper floors of the parkade at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops in June 2014.

During the four day inquest, jurors heard Setah was being held under the Mental Health Act and had been transferred to Kamloops from his home in Williams Lake against the wishes of his family.

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The panel urged significant changes to mental health services in rural communities and on reserves, including introduction of a youth mental health crisis response team, and better support for families of teens in care.

A Taser was eventually used when police could not talk Setah off the ledge of the parkade, but the weapon malfunctioned and the teen jumped.

A jury recommendation seeks a review of Taser use in critical incidents where someone is threatening self harm.

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