Mayor’s Report – January 21, 2016
Six months have passed since the risk of our town losing its stable group of physicians became a harsh reality. Chetwynd did what it always has done, weather the storm and continue working to come out stronger. During this time there has been a steady focus on doctor recruitment. The Health Services Committee, on which all of Mayor and Council serve, has a mandate to discuss and deal with a wide range of health issues that affect Chetwynd. Among the duties of the Health Services Committee, it lobbies to ensure that needed services are always available. Recently the committee has extended its focus to the issues of Mental Health and Addictions.
As in many communities, mental health issues, addictions and substance abuse are present in Chetwynd. I am by no means qualified to discuss the causes of these issues, however statistically speaking, it is safe to say these issues cause problems like increased crime and family turmoil. Substance abuse, which can lead to addictions is not the best option for dealing with pain, anguish or life’s troubles. Thankfully there is help available for those that are able to take advantage of it. Although help is available, these issues can be deep seated and may have to be managed for a lifetime.
The young people in our community have every opportunity to live without substance abuse or the effects of it. As parents, we are our kids heroes. The way we act and behave in our homes is most likely what our children will perceive as normal. It has been said that the best success stories in overcoming addictions have come from people who have adopted nutrition and exercise as part of their lifestyles. I believe we need to keep our kids active, happy, and healthy. Teaching this to our young people early in life will go far as a proactive approach in these issues.
It is important to stop the cycle of substance abuse and addictions. For the sake of our future generations, use the help that is available in town now. There are hotlines, pastors, counselors, family and friends. It can be open or it can be confidential. These resources are not limited to those with mental health or addiction issues but may also be needed by their loved ones. In the mean time, we can help ourselves. We are fortunate to have an abundance of bright sunny days in the Peace. There is a statistic in B.C. that says for every one dollar that is spent on sidewalks, four dollars are saved in our health care system (a statistic I learned at the UBCM convention.) This says we need to get outside for a walk, shovel the driveway or enjoy one of the other many activities available to us in our winter playground.
I said in a speech once, “Time is a gift and health is a bonus.” I believe this to be true. I also
believe that substance abuse or addictions should not deprive anyone of either.
Coun. Clay Bassendowski