No sign of bullying leading to five teen suicides in Comox Valley — coroner

The regional coroner found no sign of bullying in five Comox Valley teen suicides since 2009.

In spite of widespread rumours of bullying leading to a suicide in Comox recently, the regional coroner found no sign of it in five Comox Valley teen suicides since 2009.

The five cases share few similarities, found an analysis by the BC Coroners Service.

Matt Brown, regional coroner for Vancouver Island, reviewed the files of the five deaths and consulted with the investigating coroners in a search for common factors that might potentially have caused the teenagers to take their own lives.

However, Brown found that few links could be established, other than the obvious one of geography and shared schools. Four of the teens attended Highland Secondary School in Comox and one attended G.P. Vanier Secondary in Courtenay.

“Despite that, there is no indication any of them were anything but the most casual of acquaintances,” said Brown in a statement Thursday from the BC Coroners Service. “None were close friends. None moved in the same social groups.”

The five were all aged between 14 and 17. Three were male, and two were female.

In none of the cases had the youths given any indication they were planning to commit suicide, either to family members, other adults in their lives, or their friends of the same age, Brown found.

None had a lengthy history of mental health problems or substance abuse, and no evidence of bullying has been identified in any of the cases, he added.

Brown said the Coroners Service is continuing to work closely with service providers in the Comox Valley, including the school district, youth mental health services, public health, and the RCMP (including RCMP school liaison officers), to provide assistance in determining a comprehensive and co-ordinated response to these deaths.