Shana Harris-Morris was killed Feb. 4. (GoFundMe photo)

Family of Surrey homicide victim calling for mental health care improvements

National advocacy groups looking to unite

The uncle of a woman who was victim of homicide earlier this year is looking to build a coalition of advocacy groups to call for changes to the policies, procedures, regulations, and legislation around child welfare and mental health.

On Feb. 4, Surrey RCMP responded to reports of shots heard in the 10800-block of 139A Street at approximately 7:30 a.m.

A man was found with non-life-threatening injuries, while Shana Harris-Morris was found in “grave condition.” Both were transported to hospital where Harris-Morris died.

While her uncle Ryan Morris, from Chilliwack, said he doesn’t know what led to his niece’s death, he acknowledged that she struggled with an opioid addiction. On many occasions, Morris said, he offered to find her help.

In a news release issued March 13, Morris said independent advocacy groups, including ‘I Am Shana’s Voice,’ are working together to help change how government handles mental health and child welfare.

“It appears that this current structure seems to guide all of us that are asking for and seeking help, in a complete circle,” Morris wrote. “This needs to change immediately. Every minute that these failures get ignored, someone dies from an overdose, suicide, or in the form of a violent act perpetrated against the victim. We are all tired of this. We cannot accept the Band-Aid solutions that are being suggested from our leaders. We need to open their eyes.”

RELATED: ‘I’ll remember the hugs:’ Family reflects on life of Surrey shooting victim

Morris said he has been networking with advocacy groups across the province and country. They have begun discussions about uniting as a coalition to effectively advocate for change, he added.

“I believe it to be a much better and more effective strategy. Rather than having 1,000 groups with 100 members, we are aiming to have a group of 100,000+ members. This (is) so our leaders will hear clearly what needs to be changed in our system.”

Morris said he’s been asked to join a public committee that’s being tasked with giving suggestions for amending the police act in terms of how it deals with mental illness cases.

“I have reached out to the RCMP to help me in this matter. These are the individuals tasked with dealing with our mentally ill. I would like to know their thoughts on what they feel needs to change. If you want to ask how the battle is going, you need to speak to the soldiers,” Morris said.

Following Harris-Morris’ death, her family started a GoFundMe to raise funds for a headstone. As of Sunday morning, the fundraiser had collected $7,195.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won a $1-million prize with Lotto 6/49. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won the $1-million prize in a Lotto 6/49 draw. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen wins Lotto 6/49 $1-million prize

Ticket was purchased at Abbotsford’s FreshCo for the March 6, 2021 draw

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
Former Chilliwack man charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Prolific offender Kao Macaulay, 23, accused of breaking into home on March 30

The City of Chilliwack website now has a panel full of customization options for people with disabilities, including an ADHD Friendly Profile. (chilliwack.com)
VIDEO: City of Chilliwack website offers new options for people with disabilities

The website now has a panel allowing users to adjust just about everything to suit individual needs

Williams Lake RCMP arrested a man Saturday, March 13 near Wildwood in vehicle stolen in Quesnel. (RCMP logo)
UPDATE: Chilliwack woman missing since March 17 found safe and sound

RCMP thanks the media and public for assistance

Workers were on scene to clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford at Trans Mountain Pipeline’s Sumas pump station in June 2020. (File photo by Shane MacKichan)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Most Read