Kristoff St. John: “My Son Didn’t Have To Die. Hospital Could’ve Saved Him”
**UPDATE**: In 2015,Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John filed a lawsuit against the mental health facility where his 24 year-old son Julian St. John tragically committed suicide in November 2014.
In 2016, Kristoff and Julian’s mother Mia sat down with both Entertainment Tonight and the T.D. Jakes Show to discuss their son’s death and the impending lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that staff members of the La Casa Psychiatric Health Facility skipped the required mandatory check-ins and observations of Julian, who was on suicide watch. The staff also reportedly falsified documents in order to cover up the neglect. Now, in October 2017, Kristoff sent a picture of himself with a gun to his head threatening to kill himself and Mia is the one who called the police.
Mia spoke on the circumstances surrounding Julian’s death:
“What we do know is he attempted suicide two and a half weeks prior to when he actually completed it and he was supposed to be on suicide watch. He was left with the very same instrument that he used to attempt suicide.”
“The county says it pays Telecare $17 million per year to contract 190 beds at La Casa. We had hoped that the facility would help him withdraw from meth and get back on his meds, and that within the year, Julian would come home – alive. But we made a fatal mistake placing our son in the care of La Casa, one of many mental health facilities in this country that contracts with state and local governments. Like many before him, Julian didn’t make it out alive. La Casa staff told us that our son, because of his suicidal behavior, would be checked every 15 minutes. Yet, a little more than six weeks after he arrived, Julian escaped from the facility by climbing the fence. When I asked management and several of the employees of La Casa how my son, who was supposed to be checked on regularly, could escape, they responded, seemingly unconcerned, “it happens.” Julian was missing for several hours before police, whom La Casa had notified, found him at a bus stop.
But in the days after he returned to the facility, Julian managed to smoke in the bathroom and even consume alcohol, all on the watch of La Casa’s staff. Then, five days after he escaped, Julian attempted suicide using a plastic bag. His roommate discovered him and alerted the staff. I was terrified to leave Julian at La Casa, but staffers vehemently assured me that plastic bags would be banned from the section of the facility where he lived, and Julian would never be left alone. But after about two weeks, he was taken off 24-hour watch and put back on 15-minute precautionary watch. 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. Unfortunately, Julian’s story isn’t unique. La Casa employees, who went on strike in 2013 because of the dangerous conditions, said patients regularly escape from the facility.”
The day Julian committed suicide, video surveillance showed that not only was his door closed (which isn’t allowed for people on suicide watch) but that none of the staff had checked on Julian for almost an hour.
Kristoff feels the facility was negligent in its supervision of his son — and if the staff had “acted with even the slighted regard for Julian’s safety, he would still be alive today.”
News of Julian St. John’s son of The Young & the Restless star Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) passing came to light from a posting by his mother, Mia, on Saturday, November 29, 2014. Julian St. John died on Sunday, November 23 from an apparent suicide.