Virtual talk to dive into substance use issues


Social service providers are seeking to listen and learn in an upcoming mental health and substance use virtual event. ‘Coming Full Circle: Addressing Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges in Haliburton County’ will be held virtually Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon.

 “The goals of the event are to learn about best practice approaches from police and health professionals, listen to people with lived experience about how to improve service delivery, and connect with others to support positive change in the community,” states a media release from Point in Time Centre for Children Youth and Parents. 

It’s hosted by Point in Time, Community Living Trent Highlands, and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. 

Those speaking at the event include: Ashley Smoke, an Ojibwe researcher and consultant with lived experience from Alderville First Nations; acting chief Tim Farquharson from the Peterborough police service; substance use and addictions counsellor Jaymi Hayward and Dr. Pamela Lee, a public health physician from the health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention department of Public Health Ontario. 

“Our aim is to foster a shared understanding of how to approach substance use and mental health that is compassionate and aligned with best practices,” said Marg Cox, Point in Time executive director.

 “Listening, and working in partnership with people with lived experience of these challenges is key to making well-informed change.” 

The event is free to attend and open to service providers and members of the public who want to get involved. 

The media release states it’s part of a larger effort from local service providers to, “empower and engage Haliburton County residents experiencing substance use and/ or mental health challenges to support each other and provide feedback to improve local service systems.” To register visit