The first in an Oak Bay series of community conversations on mental health is focused on youth mental health and addiction.
“I think there is a misconception that substance use and addiction are not an Oak Bay problem, when indeed it is,” said Oak Bay’s Liaison to Schools, Michelle Kirby. “This is an opportunity for parents, youth, and the community to talk about the epidemic levels of anxiety in youth today, and how many choose to turn to substance use as a coping mechanism.”
The panel event was initiated by Kirby with the help of the Oak Bay High PAC mental health sub-committee, to address some of the struggles Oak Bay youth are experiencing.
The conversation will look at what parents, friends, and the community can do to help.
A line-up of panelists and special guests will speak to youth mental health and substance use issues, answer questions, and offer some guidance. Reg Fleming, program counsellor and coordinator of the Island Health Discovery Youth and Family Centre, and Cindy Andrew, the Helping Schools program consultant for the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, are both confirmed panelists with more to be announced.
“We all need strategies to help prevent the escalation of mental health problems, which can lead to addiction and accidental overdose,” said Kirby.
Event: June 19, 7-9 p.m. at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, Oak Bay High
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