Markham resident, Jessica Brown is a 23-year-old woman who has been in and out of hospitals and police station due to distressing behaviour. This is due to mental health challenges for which, according to her father Steve, for which she has not received adequate support.

One of the behaviours, that landed her on the operating table, included self inflicted wounds that left her nearly blind in the right eye.

According to Steve, Jessica requires round-the-clock supports and is incapable of  caring for herself. She has had her gamut of the justice, social services and health systems, that included treatment at Markham Stouffville Hospital and Mackenzie Health.

Jessica has had nearly 80 runs in with the law since the summer of 2017 as a result of her troubling, and sometimes dangerous, behaviour. To date, she has had roughly 200 clashes with the law that started before her 16th birthday.

The statistics for York Region in 2016, incldue over 2,600 calls to police concerning individuals dealing with a mental health crisis. That’s an increase of 100 percent since 2016.

Another statistic, that some might find shocking, is that up to 90 percent of women who have brushes with the law have been diagnosed with a mental health issue in the past.

Read the full article in the Markham Economist & Sun.