Alberta government to hold fatality inquiry in Medicine Hat this week

A Medicine Hat family is hoping get answers in a fatality inquiry following the tragic death of a loved one.

Glenn Piche hung himself with a bed sheet four years ago while he was a patient at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital in 2013.

His brother, Marc Piche, had called Redcliff RCMP and had him taken into custody on a mental health warrant. He was admitted to the hospital’s psychiatric ward.

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“You think that he’s safe, that he’s in a place where they’re going to take care of him, and then I couldn’t believe it,” Marc said.

Marc says his brother struggled with mental health throughout his life.

“If he had proper guidance and got back on his feet, he’d still be here today,” he said.

Marc and his family have been searching for answers ever since Glenn’s death.

Wednesday, after years of pushing, a fatality inquiry is set to get underway, examining the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

“My brother was always there to help other people, always,” Marc said. “He picked up people off the street, feed them, housed them into his home and stuff.”

Glenn was just 49 years old when he died, and left behind four daughters.

The family tragedy didn’t end there. A year-and-a-half after Glenn died, his wife also took her own life.

“It was a hard blow,” Marc said. “She left a note saying she’s gone to be with him.”

Alberta Health Services told Global News an initial review was done in 2013 and determined staff need to be better educated about assessing patients’ suicide risk.

The public fatality inquiry held by the Alberta government will go from May 3-5.

Marc hopes no other family will have to go through what his family did.

“I hope at the end of all this, is that it doesn’t happen to somebody else.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

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