The Human Services Justice Coordinating Committee of Leeds and Grenville will be presenting a Youth Mental Health and Addictions Awareness forum tonight at the St. Mary’s Library from 6pm-8pm.
The public forum was a jury recommendation of the May 2014 Coroner’s Inquest into the death of local resident Matthew Roke. Matthew was an active youth in the community when he and his family started noticing signs that he was not well in his late teens and early twenties. He became increasingly frightened and afraid to leave his house; his sleep was disrupted and would not sleep at night. Matt and his family struggled to find the right help for Matt in the local mental health community right until the time of his passing.
After last year’s forum and hearing Jody Roke speak about her son’s life, participants felt this year’s forum should concentrate on Youth Mental Health Services in Leeds and Grenville. This year speakers from Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health, RNJ Youth Services, Connections, will present. As well, Mark Heffernan of the Brockville Police Service will speak about a proactive Community Oriented Patrol program operated by the Brockville Police Service to help those in need locally.
Several agencies will have displays and people present including Connect Youth, Municipal Drug Strategy of South Grenville, Making Play Possible, Family and Children’s Services of Leeds and Grenville and Victim’s Services of Leeds and Grenville.
The Forum is open to all parents and caregivers, youth and community members and agencies who serve our youth. Cost is free.