Kristoff St. John and his wife, Mia, are still mourning the death of their son, Julian.
Julian was found dead in his room at a mental health care facility in Long Beach, California in 2015. Julian, who suffered from schizophrenia, was only 24 when he died of apparent suicide. And although it has been over two years since his demise, the pain remains for the “Young and the Restless” actor and his wife, especially since they blame the facility for their son’s death.
“I’m still angry,” Kristoff told Entertainment Tonight of watching the footage of his son’s final moments in the facility. “I watched it the first time, I’ll never watch it again. It’s not something I want to see. I watched that video and I saw my son talking to me on the phone and he hung up the payphone and he went into his room and they didn’t check on him.”
Kristoff and Mia filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the La Casa Psychiatric Health Facility following his suicide, alleging that nurses and staff members regularly skipped mandatory check-ins and observations on their son, Julian, who had been on suicide watch. He should have been checked on every 15 minutes, but the footage showed that the staff did not check up on Julian for over an hour before they found him with a bag over his head in the bathroom.
St. John said he believes that if the staff had “acted with even the slighted regard for Julian’s safety, he would still be alive today,” TMZ reported. He and his wife have claimed that the nurses and staff manipulated the documents of his death to cover up their neglect. The facility denied the couple’s allegations at the time.
The lawsuit was finally settled last month. Kristoff and Mia used the funds from the suit to start a foundation with Julian’s name to raise mental health awareness. The couple is now advocating for reform of mental health facilities and their parent companies. “We do not want to lose any more mentally ill patients who are not receiving the proper care from their caregivers,” Kristoff and Mia told ET.
In related news, “Ghostbusters II” star Hank Deutschendorf, 29, also died in the same way. Like Julian, he suffered from schizophrenia and committed suicide by hanging. According to his twin brother, William, the actor had a long history of depression. William is now campaigning to spread awareness about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and suicide prevention.