A Saskatchewan family whose loved one died after losing a battle with addiction and mental illness is hoping the province can learn from the tragedy.

Wade Moffatt had long struggled with alcoholism and bipolar disorder. Last week, he took his own life.

“Dad suffered with this for such a long time,” said Moffatt’s daughter, Hillary. “You would see him and he was so happy and joyful, and he was so good at helping other people feel better about themselves, But when it came to him, he couldn’t do that for himself.”

Despite their best efforts, Moffatt’s family was never able to find him effective treatment for both addiction and mental illness.

"Addiction and mental illness are treated kind of separately,” said Moffatt’s son, Kyle.

“Addiction is almost a fringe of mental illness. Often, what we were told is he would have to get sober before we could even start talking about mental illness. And that was a really big problem because, by the end, his addiction and mental illness were the same thing."

Moffatt’s wife, Tami, says mental health support should be part of addictions support in Saskatchewan.

“If they were linked together, always, then they would have found it," she said.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, more than 60 per cent of addictions patients in Saskatchewan also suffer from mental health issues.

"It's not like we don't know what to do. There has been no end of reports, and there has been good stuff coming out,” said the CMHA’s David Nelson.

“But the political will just doesn’t seem to be there, because people rarely speak out because of the stigma."

The province is already taking the first early steps towards better coordinating and merging its mental health and addiction treatment services. But Nelson says more work and more money is still needed.

"Government has got to speak the speak and talk the talk and walk the walk about really believing that mental health and addictions are important, and put some resources into them," he said.

Moffatt was the former general manager of CTV Saskatchewan. He oversaw the launch of the province’s first local television morning shows, and was later awarded a Diamond Jubilee medal for his charity work.

“I hope today this story might be able to give one family, even just one, the ability to talk about it; to bring it up that maybe they have this issue, and that they can seek help," said Kyle Moffatt.

Based on a report by CTV Regina’s Dale Hunter