Family of Rodney Levi says he tried to get help months before he was shot by police

Levi was eventually accepted into an in person treatment center

Trigger warning, self harm is discussed in this story. If you are experiencing any thoughts of self harm, please call the First Nations and Inuit Hope Centre for Wellness at 1 855- 242-3310

Months before he was fatally shot by RCMP, Rodney Levi tried to get help for his mental health issues but was turned away, according to his family.

“He went to the hospital, I’m not sure if it was three or four times, and they sent him home,” said Becky Levi, Rodney’s niece. “The last time he went he was walking up the driveway and found a piece of glass and slit his wrists so they would take him seriously and actually put him in the psych ward.”

Becky Levi said her uncle tried numerous times to get help at the Miramichi Hospital in New Brunswick.

Two weeks before Levi, 48, of Metepenagiag First Nation, was fatally shot by RCMP, he was accepted into a treatment centre, online.

“He said, ‘I told them doing it on the internet isn’t going to help, I need one on one, like face-to-face help,’” said Becky.

Becky did eventually get a call that the treatment centre had an in person spot for Rodney to attend.

But it was five months after his death.

Rodney died June 12, 2020, one week after an Endmundston police officer fatally shot Chantel Moore, during a wellness check.

Brad MacMillan of Natoaganeg First Nation, is an ex-RCMP, he grew upon with Rodney.

“If those people had more context, more knowledge of that call, more knowledge of him, man, that would have gone down so much differently, I know and there’s nothing, I don’t really care what anybody’s else says, to me that’s what I believe and I believe that whole heartedly,” said MacMillan.

Becky said Rodney struggled with addictions and mental health issues.

But she said he wanted to get better. For the last five years, Rodney lived with Becky.

“He sobered up, he lived with me and my family, he helped take care of my kids, 5 and 12 years old,” said Becky.

According to Becky, the mental health system failed her uncle.

“Even if they just taken him seriously some of the times at the hospital things could have turned out differently like he wanted to get help he wanted to be a better person,” said Becky.

The government of New Brunswick recently announced a new addiction and mental health plan, a five year plan to increase services.

But there is no mention of specific services for Indigenous mental health care.

The Province did not respond to an interview request.

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