Addictions are one of the most dangerous and destructive issues facing youth in our community. Today, 85% of Canadian teenagers have consumed alcohol and 50% have consumed illegal drugs. The most at risk to develop addictions are youth under the age of 25.

CMHA Suicide Awareness Group, Mental Illness Family Support Centre and the North Okanagan Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Local Action Team have come together to host a Panel and Community Resource Fair in an effort to educate our community on this issue at the local level as well as provide information on community resources available to those in need.

“We are excited to be able to bring service providers in our community together on such an important issue impacting our youth. In our work, we find navigating services and finding resources to be a challenge for individuals and families, this is a chance to find the information you are looking for to help youth in our community,” said Julia Payson, CMHA Executive Director.

Dr. Michael Ocana will lead a discussion on Youth Addictions: Prevention through Relationships to be followed by a panel discussion to include a youth with lived experience, a family member, a high school counsellor and a psychologist.

The Panel and Resource Fair takes place at the Vernon Recreation Centre Auditorium on November 23rd from 6pm – 9pm with the presentation and panel discussion at 7pm. Admission is free.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Ocana, the head of the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit at Kelowna General Hospital come and speak on such an important topic in our community,” said Tara Day, Manager at the Mental Illness Family Support Centre (MIFSC).

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