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Local MPs talk suicide prevention – Okanagan

KELOWNA – Several dozen people gathered at the Parkinson Recreation Centre Monday for a town hall about suicide.

Some shared their personal stories of loss with Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan and Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has suggested all members of parliament lead conversations about suicide prevention.

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“Historically people don’t talk about it. So we have a situation that is devastating and there is no discussion going on,” says Glen Maddess, president of the Okanagan Suicide Awareness Society.

For many who attended, the issue is personal.

Colleen Szalka says she’s been trying to get help for her teenage daughter, who deals with mental health issues, for three years.

“She’s not getting the help that she needs. She’s out on the street,” says Szalka. “She’s tried taking her life before and it just seems really hopeless.”

Albas and Cannon will be writing a report to the Mental Health Commission of Canada about the town hall, one of dozens held on mental health by MPs across the country this summer.

“I don’t think that there is a member of parliament on either side of the chamber that doesn’t believe that this is not an important issue and wants to make the changes. We just need to again keep going back to find those local strategies and to make sure that people don’t fall through the cracks,” says Albas.

Interior Health says residents needing help can call the Interior Crisis Line Network toll-free at 1-888-353-CARE(2273).

The health authority encourages them to also contact local mental health services, family doctors, emergency services or visit: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活crisiscentre.bc桑拿按摩.

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