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Plaque on Charlottetown housing project bears name of Calgary teen who died by suicide



Warning: This text consists of particulars of suicidal ideas.

Will Ferguson, 19, had been fighting psychological sickness for 5 years — a situation that worsened throughout COVID-19 — when he died by suicide in September.

By means of these years, Will struggled with obsessive-compulsive dysfunction. It is a psychological sickness that, regardless of the frequent false impression, doesn’t imply being extraordinarily organized.

There are several types of OCD. In Will’s case, he was affected by suicidal ideas.

Will’s family and friends hope speaking about what occurred will assist enhance consciousness of OCD and break stereotypes.

“I want I may change the world with a snap of my fingers, however, one individual at a time,” Will’s father, Troy Ferguson, stated in an interview.

Housing models

Will was dwelling in Calgary and going to highschool in Nova Scotia when he died. However his story and his identify have made an affect in P.E.I.

The Canadian Psychological Well being Affiliation in P.E.I. helped fund 28 reasonably priced housing models on Fitzroy Road in Charlottetown. Among the many corporations that helped make the undertaking doable was 720 Options, owned by Troy Ferguson.

John Horrelt, an ex-board member for CMHA and good friend of the Ferguson household, says organizers realized of Will’s dying whereas engaged on the undertaking.

About eight months in, Troy Ferguson and Horrelt scheduled a Zoom name with Holland Faculty president Sandy MacDonald. Some college students within the college’s undertaking administration program helped with the undertaking.

They scheduled the decision for midday. Troy, who’s often immediate and arranged, wasn’t there.

Horrelt texted him. No response.

By 12:15, he hadn’t arrived.

“One thing’s fallacious, Sandy. I apologize, we’ll rebook,” Horrelt recalled saying.

Half an hour later Horrelt obtained a telephone name. It was Troy.

“The worst factor that might ever occur, has occurred. Will has taken his personal life.”

Horrelt remembers his response — a shock, then devastation. However he knew straight away he needed to do one thing.

“I bear in mind him speaking about taking only a little bit of the burden of the ache from Will’s shoulders and I hope that Troy realizes that there’s a complete group of us on the market that simply need to share that burden.”

Horrelt stated it’s frequent that family members aren’t conscious when somebody is in bother.

“We’ve obtained to appreciate this could occur to anyone,” Horrelt stated.

When Horrelt met Will, he noticed no fast indicators of his misery.

“You would inform he was a really mild and sort soul, sort of like his father.”

Highschool buddies

Emmett McDonald was conscious his good friend struggled with psychological sickness, however he didn’t absolutely perceive OCD or how massive of an affect it may well have.

“, you hear about melancholy, however you by no means hear about OCD and its affect on individuals’s psychological well being.”

He and Will met once they have been youngsters, and so they grew significantly shut in highschool.

McDonald remembers getting pizza collectively after college. They’d joke and Will would rap for the group.

They left Calgary to attend St. Francis Xavier College in Antigonish, N.S. collectively. By the second semester, McDonald observed Will was much less motivated. It obtained worse over time.

McDonald was shocked when he heard his good friend died in Calgary days earlier than he was because of return to St. F.X. He had seen him a number of days earlier and it took a number of days to appreciate he would by no means see him once more.

“I used to be sort of in denial.”

Lauren Motherwell, one other Calgary good friend of Will’s who can also be attending St. F.X., stated her favorite factor about Will was he was really easy to speak to. Nevertheless, he was a personal individual and didn’t speak about himself usually.

“We had a mutual understanding of one another.”

They’ve been buddies since Grade 11 in Calgary. When she began attending St. F.X. she was nervous. It was a brand new college in a brand new province. When she realized Will could be there too, she felt a lot better.

“It felt secure, it felt like house.”

Motherwell additionally observed a change in Will all through the second semester, however she was not anticipating to lose him.

“I really feel like I failed as a good friend.”

She heard from Will the night time he died. She was making ready for varsity and visiting her grandparents however advised him she couldn’t wait to see him when he got here again to highschool.

Later that night time she obtained a message request on Instagram. It was Will’s youthful brother.

He requested if she had seen Will. He stated Will was extraordinarily suicidal and the household hadn’t heard from him.

“I’ve by no means been that scared earlier than.”

Motherwell didn’t sleep a lot that night time. She nonetheless needed to get on the aircraft in Calgary the subsequent day.

“The worst half was the five-hour aircraft trip.”

Ready within the Halifax Airport for a bus, she obtained one other message from Will’s brother.

“Hello, Lauren. I’m so sorry to let you know this, however final night time my brother dedicated suicide.”

Being again at college is basically onerous, she stated. Motherwell knew one other pupil of their residence who died a number of months earlier. This motivated her to arrange a gathering with the college’s president.

She needs to assist advocate, possibly begin a fundraiser, she stated. No matter kind it takes, she’s going to do what she will to lift consciousness about psychological sickness.

“I’ll battle for it and it’s one thing I’m going to be combating for my entire life.”

Search assist

  • If you’re experiencing a psychological well being disaster, search assist instantly by both calling 911, going to an emergency division or calling the Island Helpline at 1-800-218-2885.
  • Assist can also be accessible from the Youngsters Assist Cellphone at 1-800-668-6868 or textual content 686868.

Casey Allen is a pupil within the journalism program at Holland Faculty.

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