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Free Event Tackles Stigma Around Trauma, Substance Use Among South Asians

 

SURREY – Trauma, substance use and addiction aren’t things that happen in the South Asian community.

Except they do.

“There is stigma in every community around these issues, but in the South Asian community in particular,” says Vicky Waldron, executive director of the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan (CIRP). “They don’t want to talk about it, but denying the problems won’t make them go away.”

CIRP is one of the many organizations that comprise the Surrey Community Action Team, which was established under the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. The team brings together local partners including health, first responder, public safety and community agencies to develop and enhance a co-ordinated system of treatment, recovery, and response services.

The Surrey CAT is holding a free special event titled “Let’s Talk! Mental Health & Substance Use in Our Communities” on June 13 at the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88th Ave. The event will be delivered in Punjabi and English.

“We want to get the conversation started and try to find ways to reduce the stigma around trauma, substance use and addiction,” said Waldron. “We are asking community members to tell us what they need so that we can start breaking down the stigma associated with trauma and substance use.”

Keynote speaker is Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy, as well as Waldron and local recovery specialist Gary Sandhu.

After the intermission, there will be an interactive discussion between the audience and expert panel.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lets-talk-mental-health-substance-use-in-our-communities-tickets-61840045240 .

In 2018, illicit drug overdoses were suspected in 1,510 deaths in B.C., including 513 in the Fraser Health Region.

 

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