The week of Oct. 2-8 was proclaimed “Mental Health and Addictions Awareness Week” in Dawson Creek in recognition of the work Northern Health’s mental health and addictions unit does to support individuals and their families who are dealing with those issues.
An awareness event has been scheduled for this Wednesday, Oct. 5, starting at noon at the mental health and addictions office inside the Public Health building next to the hospital. The event will include a short walk with local service providers to Kin Park and back to the office, followed by a lunch of soup and buns. Members of the public are encouraged to come out and participate and learn more about the services provided in Dawson Creek.
October also marks “Community Living Month” in Dawson Creek, in recognition of the work individuals, families, and organizations do to create more inclusive communities for people with developmental disabilities.
Northern Lights College will host an awareness event on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 1-4 p.m. Members of the public are welcomed to attend for an opportunity to hear presentations from several local agencies assisting residents with developmental disabilities, as well as four local self-advocates. There will also be live entertainment and a barbeque. The event will take place at the gazebo located on the west side of the campus, which can be accessed via 12 Street.
October is also “Foster Family Appreciation Month” in Dawson Creek. Cindy Gabriel, community services manager for the Ministry of Children and Family Development in Dawson Creek, said there are currently about 24 foster homes in Dawson Creek and Pouce Coupe, and four group homes that serve between two to five children.
“We’re always looking for more (foster homes),” said Gabriel. “We’re looking for those homes in particular that could just do some relief and respite maybe for a couple weekends a month or a couple of nights during the week.”
She added local ministry staff will be hosting an appreciation dinner for local foster families on Saturday, Oct. 15.
Gabriel also used the occasion to issue a challenge to members of the public to inform one other resident that it is Foster Family Appreciation Month in order to help spread awareness of the service.
More information on becoming a foster parent can be found online on the ministry’s website at www.mcf.gov.bc.ca or by contacting the local office at 250-784-2342.