The Chatham-Kent Drug Awareness Council is inviting community members and service providers to attend the 2019 Annual Breakfast event, Nov. 7 at Smitty’s in Chatham.
The focus of the event is on preventing and addressing stigma.
The Chatham-Kent Drug Awareness Council (CKDAC) hopes to shed light on some of the many challenges faced by people experiencing mental health and substance use issues. Keynote speaker, Brian Knowler, is a passionate mental health advocate and author of “On the Other Side of Broken: One Cop’s Battle with the Demons of PTSD” and “Career Suicide is Overrated.”
The morning will also feature speakers sharing their incredible stories about mental health, substance use, and stigma.
Stigma is one of the most significant challenges facing our community, especially in work around mental health and substance use. Stigma is negative stereotypes, attitudes, or beliefs about people based on their situation in life. It includes discrimination, prejudice, judging, labeling, isolating, and stereotyping. Stigma has serious impacts on the lives of people with mental health and substance use issues, as well as their families and friends. The CKDAC works everyday to prevent and reduce stigma in our community.
Municipal Councillor and CKDAC co-ordinator Marjorie Crew explained that substance use knows no social barriers and the cost of these issues in our community is spread to each and every one of us.
“Substance use is so complex and multi-faceted that we need to have a proactive and co-ordinated response community wide,” she said in a media release.
Public Health Nurse and CKDAC board member Jordynne Lindsay stated that stigma is the number one reason preventing people from getting the help they need for substance use issues.
“There are many things all of us can do to help. Attending this event and learning about some of the ways we can address stigma is a great first step,” she said.
The CKDAC is a collaborative group of professionals, service providers, and volunteers in the community that work together to raise awareness and reduce harms associated with substance use. The CKDAC builds connections, creates supportive environments, and promotes health and safety using the four-pillar approach of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement.
The event is taking place on Nov. 7h from 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m. in Aristos Banquet Hall at the Grand Avenue West restaurant.
Registration cost is $19.99 and can be done online through Eventbrite at https://ckdacannualbreakfast2019.eventbrite.ca.