As both a parent and grandparent I am certain that I am not alone in sharing our deepest condolences on the recent untimely passing of 15year old Amanda Todd.
Teenage suicide is not a subject that anyone likes to discuss but it is important that we all take a moment to reflect on this tragic event. What occurred in Port Coquitlam just as easily could have occurred here in the South Okanagan or elsewhere.
Aggressive bullying, mean spirited comments and unkindness can be found in many places but that does not mean that such behaviour should be tolerated. Standing up to those who engage in such cruel behaviour is one way that we can help put an end to these practices.
If someone you know or aware of is being bullied there is help available. The Youth in BC service can be reached toll free at 1 866 661-3311 and is an online crisis service available 24 hours a day. There is also the suicide hotline at 1 800 SUICIDE (1 800 784-2433) in addition to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800 273-8255. The Kids help phone service is also available at 1 800 668-6868.
All of these services have caring people involved, in many cases volunteers, who are there to help you. Online resources can also be found at the following locations http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/mental_health/friends.htm and http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/suicide_prevention/for_professionals.htm
Abusive behaviour can also be found at home and over time can lead to domestic violence. In March of 2013 the revised Family Law Act will come into effect that better defines issues arising around family violence.
The new act creates protection orders that will replace existing restraining orders that often fail to protect victims from spousal harassment and intimidation. Protection orders contain stronger measures to better protect women, children and families in part by ensuring that breaches of a protection order will constitute a criminal offence. To learn more information please visit the www.victimlinkbc.ca and www.domesticviolencebc.ca websites. If you are in abusive relationship and need help please contact the 24-hour VictimLink BC service at 1 800 563-0808.
Lastly this week a reminder that as winter season is approaching please consider investing in proper snow tires and remember to slow down when there are adverse road conditions. Drive BC is another important resource that provides information from online highway cams and live online road reports to the website. There are now over 250 webcams covering most major highways in British Columbia, in fact we now have an online camera located on Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland – a first in our region. For more live road information you can visit the www.drivebc.ca website.