Greg Norman, a young man from Sackville, took his life last week. This is a letter from his big sister that she wishes to share:

Miranda Rose Norman wrote a new note: “Rest Easy Greg” Please Share so people are aware and no one else loses a loved one .

To whom it may concern,

  Let me introduce myself, my name is Miranda Norman, and I called the Mobile Crisis Unit on October 24, 2013 regarding my little brother Greg. Just a quick question, do you know  the difference between a want and a need? I do. Greg NEEDED help; you didn’t WANT to give him it. Told me that this is a phase and MOST people get out of it, you were wrong.  I’ll tell you a bit about Greg before I go any further.
Considering you didn’t take the time to come and meet him or talk to him I’ll give you a description of this amazing kid. Greg was a hardworking, stubborn, 17 year old in grade 12. Phenomenal with kids, would of made the world’s best dad. On the outside just your average guy, always with the BIGGEST smile on his face, always eager to help ANYONE, never asked to be compensated for what he did for others, a true HERO in my eyes. He’d literally give you his underwear if you needed them. Loved animals like no one I have ever met and loved every person he ever came in contact with. Never judged others; if you needed a shoulder, he’d be it.  
Now let’s get to the real problem. When I called the Crisis Unit do you think I did it because I hated my brother, wanted to see him get in trouble, thought I’d waste your time? NO. I called because my brother meant the world to me and to see him go down the road he was going was devastating me. I was his big sister, I was supposed to be able to point him in the right direction, and I couldn’t. So I called the cops on him, tried to get him help, no luck. So I called the Crisis Mobile Unit as a LAST RESORT. You didn’t want to help either. Did it maybe ever cross your mind to think maybe he does need help; just maybe we should go see him. Don’t you think that if I bothered to call on my little brother I was truly concerned about him, that maybe I knew more than what you thought you knew about the situation? I told you on the phone about the drugs that he was using and abusing, about the cutting that he hid from everyone around him, about him saying that he was going to hang himself. Apparently that isn’t enough to be considered a CRISIS.   On November 19, 2013 I got the call that turned my world upside down. My little brother Greg was gone. Greg took his own life. My parents and I tried to get him help. Nobody thought he needed help so he never did get the help he deserved. He was a remarkable individual that has left HUNDREDS of people grieving. Explain to me how I look at my Mom, Dad and Sister and try to tell them that we will get through this, try to justify that he is in a better place now, remind them of all the good times we all had with him. Did you think about the consequences to your actions when you told me that you weren’t going to help him? I said that he’s 17 and had his whole life ahead of him and the response I got was “17 year olds used to go to war”.
The worst part is that I wasn’t the only one to make the call about Greg.   I get it though, don’t worry. You are there for your pay check, not for helping children and youth who need help. Just there for the money. Put in your time and don’t bother to actually make a difference in the lives of the people who need it the most. How corrupt our system is, how much it failed my family, his friends, the community. I wish that you could understand how much Greg will be MISSED and how LOVED he was. If I could trade everything I have in my life to have him back I would, but instead on November 23, 2013, we buried my baby brother.   
I just hope that next time you open your mouth when somebody calls in for help, you are saying that you are going to go there and see what’s going on because maybe if you had just done your important job I wouldn’t have to be writing this letter right now, I wouldn’t only have memories to hold on to, and Greg would still be here. “If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever” May he Rest Easy and watch over all the ones that loved him.

Here is a link to her Fbook note if you would like to directly comment to her:

About Sacky

Just a goofball from Sack-Vegas!

3 responses »

  1. Bob says:

    From what I’ve heard from people working with mental health services, the Mobile Crisis Unit is a joke. Whoever spoke with Miranda from the MCU should be fired and brought up on criminal charges. Absolutely disgusting.

    • Lisa says:

      Dear Miranda,

      My name is Lisa, I am 37 years old and currently studying applied psychology at SMU. I was first hospitalized for issues relating to Generalized Anxiety Disorder at the age of seven. I have been in and out and through the ‘system’ for thirty years. I’ve felt suicidal and called the help line which resulted in being punished for doing reaching out for help – they had CAS remove my children from my custody temporarily (that didn’t help ease my depression) and the “care” I received was six hours in the ER being lectured by a pompous social worker who acted as if I was a criminal. I read your post and all I could think was, “Those damn bastards”. I have made countless calls to MHMCT over the years and very little good ever came from it, though at times temporary relief was possible because I am an adult with a fully developed neurological system, not a teen still growing and changing and going through the countless turmoils your brother was experiencing. MHMCT should have sent crisis workers to your home when you called. That is their JOB. I have had crisis workers come to my home and have me seen by urgent care the following day. It is an atrocity that this system failed your brother, you and your family. You are still in a process of grieving and deep pain. I would, however, encourage you in the weeks and months ahead to gather people who care about this situation and put together a group to advocate change in how Nova Scotia’s mental health system is failing people left, right and center. I’m leaving a safe email address with you. You have a better reason than most people to want and need to make changes, and force our politicians and health care providers to put into action what is necessary to prevent another life being lost because of inaction by complacency on the behalf of paid MH staff. In closing, I want to tell you I learned of your brother several days ago through a You Tube video. I never knew Greg and unless he’d gone home to the angels in the way he did, I probably never would have met Greg. FWIW, your experience has taught me a lot in the past week, and its given me an opportunity to teach my young girls things they need to know. Your brother’s death will not be in vain. It’s probably impossible right now to think the pain you feel right now can be made into something positive but you have the jest in your words that suggests to me you’re a young lady with a sensible mind to make a change. Best wishes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a horrible reality.I’m 33 struggled with mental health issues since a young teen and battled addiction to pills. With some of my own research i have managed well with my coping skills for the most part but and after coming out of denial of my mental health in my late 20’s I went to my family doctor who fortunately was very understanding and referred my to a psychiatrist for some talk therapy after waiting 3+ years i received a call just this spring and finally got to see him. during that waiting period my family doctor took a leave of absence and could not return to work because of her own health issues; I needed a family doc so i started checking some out, the first one i saw told me he didn’t “….believe in depression, people get sad all the time, we all have lows and highs…” I walked out, I eventually settled on a doc that would be fine for my children however the minute she received the letter from my psych she called me in and tried to push some strong mood altering drugs. Even though she was aware of my aversion to taking pills. i politely declined. Since starting regular treatment I received a diagnosis of Major depressive disorder complicated by general anxiety disorder. I was told to stop night shifts because proper sleep patterns are essential to mental well being and so went through all the proper channels with my employer to file for medical accommodations. With the occupational therapist, the reviewing physician and my own psychiatrist agreeing that for my health i should no longer be staying up all night. I was still denied by management. I was told by my manager that I would have to use my sick time if i cannot be there for my night shifts. When doing the math I would have no sick time left after a 6 month period of time and therefore would be placed on their “mandatory attendance maintenance program”.
    I have worked for this company for about 10 years now, the majority of those years were a mon-fri 8-4 hours until this past year. Doing a night shift leaves me depressed in my lowest of low states that I have not felt since i was 17. I have terrible thoughts of harming myself. i fear for my safety after a night shift. I fear for the well being of my children and I too fear that seeking help in an emergency situation will result in losing my children. but yet I am met with condescension, co-workers discussing it behind my back and the general feeling that i should just “get over it”
    But here’s the kicker, I work for Capital Health.The largest health corp and district in Nova Scotia. In a hospital, with MHMCT cards to hand out. We are taught Non violent crisis intervention so we can best help our clients/patients and their families. We are taught to be respectful and understanding of those with mental, physical and intellectual challenges. To have a respectful work place, yet I have overheard co-workers talk about those who dont hide their mental illness as well as I have. they called them Crazy and dropped comments about how they must be off their pills today. Why is it that in a health facility surrounded by all this information is Mental Health still considered Taboo! Why must we be ashamed! If I had of been diagnosed with MS and told to stop night shifts… i bet no one would of batted an eye. I think its time for people to speak out

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