The Vernon Suicide Prevention Committee presents a public forum Nov. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Vernon Lodge Hotel.

The Vernon Suicide Prevention Committee presents a public forum Nov. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Vernon Lodge Hotel.

Youth mental health in focus at Vernon event

The Vernon Suicide Prevention Committee presents a public forum Thursday, Nov. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Vernon Lodge Hotel

Parents, caregivers, teachers and the general public can learn more about youth mental health.

The Vernon Suicide Prevention Committee presents a public forum Thursday, Nov. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Vernon Lodge Hotel.

“We felt that this was an important presentation as parents and caregiver’s often don’t know where to turn when they are worried about the children in their care and also that when they are involved in the system, it can be difficult to navigate, scary and frustrating at times,” said Sharon Durant, with the committee.

The topics will include education and awareness, support for those affected and prevention.

The guest panel will consist of psychiatrist David Smith and representatives from Mental Health Child and Youth, Mental Illness Family Support, North Okanagan Youth and Family Services, Early Psychosis, Mental Health and Youth Mental Health Substance Misuse.

“Our hope is that by giving people an opportunity to understand their children’s symptoms or behaviours as well as child and youth mental health, they will be better prepared to help,” said Durant.

“Knowledge is a tool that can only support the needs of both parents/caregivers and children. The challenges and pressures that young people feel are real and can lead to depression. Recognizing the difference between what may be usual behaviour and symptoms of mental illness can be difficult at times, particularly in adolescents.”