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Town hall meeting on suicide prevention

Town Hall meeting Sept. 8, 1:30-3:30 at Parkinson Recreation Centre, Orchard Room in Kelowna.

A 'town hall' meeting will be held Sept. 8 regarding suicide and its impact in the Central Okanagan,

Topics will include its prevention and citizen concerns regarding the impact of suicide in our community and access to services.

The Okanagan Suicide Awareness Society (OSAS) has been working with local Members of Parliament Ron Cannan and Dan Albas to plan and promote a discussion on the topic of suicide.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada issued a challenge to Parliament last April, dubbed the #308 Conversations project. The challenge was for each member of Parliament to host a town hall conversation with constituents in his/her riding before Parliament reconvenes in September.

The goal is to have a wide cross section from the community share information, concerns, wishes and suggestions for recognizing suicidal behaviour and bereavement and to facilitate a robust and effective roll out of the national suicide prevention plan legislation (Bill C-300 of 2012).

Both Cannan and Albas will be the official hosts of the gathering. They will be submitting a report of the conversation to the Mental Health Commission of Canada for inclusion in their national report based on all of the #308 Conversations.

The MC for the event will be Phil Johnson, who will devote air time during his radio program on World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10) to information and ideas presented during the conversation.

Suicide is a very significant public health and quality of life concern in the Central Okanagan.

The statistics may surprise and stories of suicide bereavement likely will touch your heart.

As the Mental Health Commission of Canada declared to Parliament, “It is time to start talking about suicide prevention.”

 

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