What resources are out there for adolescents and their families?
How do you get in contact with them?
Local resource groups are coming together next week to present answers to those questions and more during a community forum set for Nov. 3.
School District 71 is presenting Community Support For Families: An Information Evening to Look at Resources Available For Families in the Comox Valley Nov. 3 from 7-9 p.m. in the gym at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School.
A variety of community resource groups will attend the forum, including the RCMP and Victim Services; School District 71 school counsellors, youth and family support workers and behaviour resource services; the John Howard Society; Boys and Girls Club Parent Support and the Ministry of Children and Family Development Mental Health Team.
Participating groups will present a short introduction about the services they can offer families, and then there will be time for people to visit individual service providers in a smaller environment, ask questions and pick up more information.
"This will be a success if one person walks out of that experience — just one, and there may be 300 people in the room — with information they needed that night to help them help their kids in the future," said school district superintendent Sherry Elwood.
The community forum was organized by the Highland community, which has been dealing with the suicide by one of its students earlier this month.
"The initiative for this is coming from folks who have been talking about this for a while, and of course, tragedy sometimes makes you move faster unfortunately," said Elwood. "This is the work of a dedicated group of folks out of the Highland community making contact with community partners who have been so outstanding and supportive of our schools and our families in tragedy ... this is an opportunity for people to just know there are resources available in the community that you can access for information and access for intervention."
Representatives from 16 local organizations have confirmed they will be at the forum.
"This is a Valley event; it's for all of us, not a single school or a single community," said Elwood. "What we're hoping is people will come and be able to hear and believe there are supports available for them in the community. We're very grateful for the energy that has been built around this, and we certainly are grateful for this list of service providers who readily stepped up to be part of this evening, and we continue to be grateful for the partnerships we have with these community agencies as we all work together."
For more information about the forum, visit www.sd71.bc.ca.
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Comox Valley Resources
• Vancouver Island Crisis Line 1-888-494-3888
• Crisis Intervention Nurse (will be referred to a nurse in your community) 1-888=494-3888
• Suicide Outreach Worker (leave a message) 250-702-6880
• Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
• Comox Valley Nursing Centre (Drop In Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 250-331-8502
• Mental Health 250-331-8524
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