Family searching for woman, 35, who went missing after day release from Winnipeg hospital

By | July 30, 2020

A mother is pleading for help to find her daughter, who didn’t return to a Winnipeg hospital after her release on a day pass.

Cassidy Sylvester, 35, was admitted involuntarily to Victoria General Hospital over a month ago because she was suffering a mental health crisis, said her mother, Angela McCaughan.

The hospital gave Sylvester a day pass to view an apartment, McCaughan said. She was supposed to return to the hospital at 3 p.m. Tuesday, but didn’t.

“I was not made aware of any of this. Had I been made aware of this, I would have let them know that she would not come back if they released her in that amount of time,” she said Wednesday, later adding that no family members were contacted.

“They never ever should have released her on a day pass in her current state.”

CBC News contacted the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority for comment, but they have not provided any information about the incident.

Sylvester has battled bipolar disorder and psychotic episodes for the past 15 years, her mother says. (Angela McCaughan/Facebook)

About 15 years ago, Sylvester was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic episodes. Since then, she has visited the hospital for her condition, and has tried taking her own life multiple times, said McCaughan, who is the executive director of Sscope Inc. — a non-profit in Winnipeg that helps people with mental health issues find jobs and housing.

Sylvester’s family is worried that she’ll either harm herself or others, said McCaughan.

“She’s in a mania right now. Like, a serious manic episode,” she said. “But when she comes out of the episode, she’s going to be seriously depressed and she’s going to try to commit suicide.

“But while she is in the mania, she is a danger to other people.”

The Winnipeg Police Service is now searching for Sylvester as well.

She was last seen on Wednesday around the University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus, police said in a news release Thursday.

Cassidy Sylvester’s family believes this photo was taken at some point on Wednesday. They are unsure what she may be wearing, but the photo shows her with green sunglasses and green-painted fingernails. (Pat Sylvester/Facebook)

Sylvester is five foot four, thin, and has dark brown hair and brown eyes, police said.

Anyone who knows of Sylvester’s whereabouts should call the Winnipeg police missing persons unit at 204-986-6250.

“I need my kid back. She’s a lovely, kind, beautiful human,” said McCaughan.

“I’m going to lose her if we don’t get this out.”

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, there is help out there.

Contact the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line toll-free at 1-877-435-7170 (1-877-HELP170) or the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. You can also text CONNECT to 686868 and get immediate support from a crisis responder through the Crisis Text Line, powered by Kids Help Phone.

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