Nearly two years ago, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS star Kristoff St. John (Neil) lost his son, Julian, but even today, he and ex-wife Mia are fighting to make sure other families don’t have to suffer the way they have.
“Please support those that are affected with mental illness by signing this petition,” St. John tweeted. “One person makes a difference. My son Julian has not died in vain…”
In the petition posted to change.org, Mia chronicles Julian’s struggle with mental illness and drug addiction and how Telecare’s La Casa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center in Lon Beach, CA, offered inadequate care that led to his eventual suicide.
“La Casa staff told us that our son, because of his suicidal behavior, would be checked every 15 minutes,” she wrote. “Yet, a little more than six weeks after he arrived, Julian escaped from the facility by climbing the fence.”
Five days after his escape attempt, Julian tried to commit suicide with a plastic bag, and staffers assured her that bags would be banned from that section of the facility where Julian was living. “But after about two weeks, he was taken off 24-hour watch, and put back on 15-minute precautionary watch,” Mia reveals. “Three days later, my son was found face down in the bathroom with a plastic bag over his head — the same plastic bags that were supposedly removed.”
This pic was in 2006. It's my Lil Lola Lulu Lemonhead in her Big Brother Julian's arms. Julian loved his little sister fiercely. I'm sure he's very proud that she's graduating 7th grade is of today. I love you my boy. Forever and a day. #throwbackthursdays @lola_stjohn @parissaintjohn #daughter #son #istaylookinup #JSJ #lifeafterdeath #siblings
St. John and his wife are crusading to “shine a bright light on the nation’s broken mental health care institutions.” They hope to make Julian’s tragically preventable death the last one to occur in these kinds of places. They have filed a lawsuit against La Casa and the trial date is set for November.
“Going to war for justice… vindication… for my son Julian and those that suffer for mental illness,” St. John wrote. “Godspeed.”
Our thoughts are with the entire St. John family during this difficult time.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, and you need help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or by clicking here.