Wanda and Chris Ball stood amid a sea of posters adorned with the face of their son Kye.
The 16-year-old took his own life March 20. Despite drowning in their pain, the couple from Indian Head are using their grief to fight for more supports for those struggling with mental health.
“I mean these kids are the future of this province and without them, where are we going to be,” Wanda said.
The Ball family and roughly 100 others, many of whom have lost a loved one to suicide, walked from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, down Albert Street, to the Legislature to raise awareness about mental health.
Wanda Ball is frustrated by what she see as gaps in the health care system, ones that Kye fell through.
“We spent three or four visits on the psychiatric ward, there were times we were sent home and shouldn’t have been, Kye’s social worker was meant to see him weekly and only saw him after the first 30 days,” Wanda explained. “Kye spent over 90 days at the shelter at which time we were told there was no where for him to go, so we brought him home and about a month later he took his life.”
Wanda wants the government to focus the resources it has on prevention rather than crisis intervention, which is often inadequate, she said, and too late for people like Kye.
“There needs to be a place for these kids to go where they can be safe when they’re not stable or safe enough to come home,” Wanda said.
Leading those on the walk, Wanda and Chris headed south to the legislature, the only goal, to prevent other families from enduring the pain they had.