Quebec to review services given to Montreal man who killed his children, died by suicide
Published Thursday, October 24, 2019 1:33PM EDT Last Updated Friday, October 25, 2019 2:14PM EDT
Neighbours and passersby have been leaving toys and notes of sympathy at the Tetreaultville home where two little children were killed Tuesday. (Photo: CTV News)
The Quebec government is reviewing the services provided to a man who killed his two children before dying by suicide in a Tetreaultville home on Tuesday.
"We're all grieving. I'm grieving and I think the population of Quebec is grieving. This is a terrible, terrible drama – a tragedy, really," Health Minister Danielle McCann said Wednesday.
McCann said some health services had been provided to the man and that youth services were also involved.
"We will review everything that was done. I know there were services that were given for this man and even that there was … a call for youth services," she said.
McCann said youth services workers were "very affected" by the incident.
The Quebec government is holding a forum in Quebec City on Oct. 28 and 29 to discuss mental health issues in adults, as part of a larger goal to draft a mental health action plan.
"What is fundamental is how we will better accompany people who have this kind of distress – suicidal ideas. That's what we want to do," said McCann.
The bodies of a seven-year-old boy and five-year-old girl, as well as their 40-year-old father, Jonathan Pomares, were found in a home on Curatteau Street near Pierre-de-Coubertin Avenue Tuesday night. Montreal police said officers found "signs of violence" on the children.
Pomares died by suicide, according to a police source.
The couple was in the early stages of a separation.
It’s not known what triggered the murder-suicide, and Brian Mishara, a UQAM researcher in suicide prevention, said the level of violence that occurred at the east-end home is rare.
However, employees of support group Peres Separes said in the days after the tragedy, they received double the number of calls they usually receive.
The organization, largely funded by the Quebec Health Ministry, helps fathers who are going through divorces and separations. The calls were from men but also from women - friends, colleagues and relatives, who were worried about someone going through a serious breakup.
"We're talking about fathers who are – what I call – situationally depressed. It's a life-changing event," he said. "[We] try to get them out of the spiral; let the soot settle down and have a compassionate ear without judging," said one coach there, Patrick Cavalier.
Signs of psychological distress are sometimes less obvious in men, a psychiatrist told CTV News.
Dr. Marie-Eve Cotton said in general, “men tend to mask their pain by distracting themselves, working longer hours or playing more sports.” They are less likely to ask for help, she said.
Regional health authority CIUSSS de l’est issued a communique inviting anyone affected by the events to reach out for support.
Police thanked Montrealers for their support on Thursday. First responders were greeted by a horrific scene; they've been offered counselling.
Community members gathered near the home on Thursday, some dropping stuffed animals and notes onto the front porch. A pile of them soon overflowed the steps.
"It's really touching, I have a little seven-year-old boy," said one man, tearing up. “It’s so hard to understand.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, here are some resources that are available:
Suicide Action Montreal (1-866-277-3553)
Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566 or text 45645)
Centre for Suicide Prevention (1-833-456-4566)
Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868)
If you need immediate assistance call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.