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Getting the word out on the Reach Out program

It’s important to reach out when you need help.

The Oxford Drug Awareness Committee (ODAC) will be holding an education session at the Oxford County administration building in Woodstock on Friday to inform people of Reach Out.

Reach Out is a program that was started by many different community partners, including ODAC and the Canadian Mental Health Association of Oxford, that is funded through the province to assist those who need help with mental health or addictions.

“It’s a crisis, mental health and addictions phone number,” community health outreach worker Trevor McLellan said. “It’s available to anyone in this region, as well as Elgin County, Middlesex and London. It’s a confidential crisis and information line, so if you’re having concerns regarding mental health issues or you need access to information on substance use, things like problem gambling or Internet use and that sort of thing, you can call these folks.

“It’s also for a crisis,” he added. “So if you have thoughts of suicide, harming yourself, or harming someone else you can call this number or someone can call on your behalf as well.”

In addition to a 24/7 phone number the service also offers an online chat that people can use if they don’t want to call.

The education session is open to anyone and will take place on Friday morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Oxford County administration building in the council chambers.

McLellan said that it’s important to get the word out about Reach Out so that people know the service is out there.

“We see that mental health and addictions issues are significant throughout the region,” he said. “It’s a national issue, and this program is a quick easy, one phone number, one click place to get information, to get support, to get follow up and to get urgent crisis care… Having access to resources and support can only help.”

bchessell@postmedia.com

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