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Canada Suicide of Newfoundland music teacher has people talking more about mental health, says mayor

17:56  03 january  2018
17:56  03 january  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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The mayor of Clarenville says there has been a shift in attitude in his community since a 27-year-old music teacher and volunteer took her own life last month. Clarenville grieving after suicide of young music teacher , mental health advocate. Victoria Best was quite public about her battle with mental

(Facebook/Bryan Vaughan). One of the world's best-known sports franchises has acknowledged the death of a fan in small town Newfoundland , by sending her family a letter of condolence and some Suicide of Clarenville music teacher has people talking more about mental health , says mayor .

Suicide of Clarenville music teacher has people talking more about mental health, says mayor© Facebook Suicide of Clarenville music teacher has people talking more about mental health, says mayor

The mayor of Clarenville says there has been a shift in attitude in his community since a 27-year-old music teacher and volunteer took her own life last month.

  • Clarenville grieving after suicide of young music teacher, mental health advocate

Victoria Best was quite public about her battle with mental health issues in the years leading up to her death, regularly posting about her struggles on social media.

She was even recognized with a 150 Faces of Clarenville award, in part for her advocacy and support work for mental health.

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The mayor of Clarenville says there's been a shift in attitude in his community since the loss of a 27-year-old music teacher and volunteer.

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That's why her death two weeks before Christmas was so hard on her friends, family, students and entire home town.

"It certainly brought a big cloud over the town of Clarenville," Mayor Frazer Russell told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

As the community comes to terms with the loss, Russell said he has been noticing a shift in how open people are about talking about mental health issues.

Russell said even though Best lost her battle in the end, her advocacy and willingness to talk about her issues may have helped those she left behind continue to open up about mental health issues.

"I do see and detect in Clarenville an attitudinal change since this tragic event took place in our town," he said.

"It's no longer hush, hush. I think there is more openness and conversation and dialogue among young people and citizens in our town about this terrible disease."

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The suicide of Victoria Best — a music instructor, volunteer and mental health advocate — has left her hometown reeling, and her family and friends determined to carry on her fight for better mental health care and more compassion for those who are struggling.

The mayor of Clarenville says there has been a shift in attitude in his community since a 27-year-old music teacher and volunteer took her own life last month. Victoria Best was quite public about her battle with mental health issues in the years leading up to her death

Russell said the town is ready to assist however it can to improve mental health services in the region. He said he plans to bring together local healthcare officials to find out what can be done to help them.

He said the town could also pitch in by holding fundraising campaigns to help generate revenue for new or improved services.

Carrying on Best's advocacy work

The change in attitude in the town around discussing mental health issues is something that Best would have been delighted about Russell said, given her strong advocacy.

"Her fight [with] mental illness was a very public one, and I think she would want her family and friends to be out there and fighting the battle that unfortunately she lost herself," he said.

"We now have to find ways to get some good out of this. Certainly young people who experienced this disease should be able to come forward and seek the health that you would expect them to get."

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