Lifestyles

A family perspective on mental illness and addiction

Mae Burrows will be in Vernon Wednesday to offer information about coping as a family and about support and advocacy for families with loved ones caught in the cycle of addiction and mental illness.

Burrows is president of From Grief to Action, a support and advocacy organization for families with loved ones caught in the cycle of addiction and mental health disorders. She has devoted much of her life to social justice issues including  prison reform, youth mental health, adult literacy, and environmental health.

“Society needs to recognize drug use and concurrent disorders as health and not moral or criminal issues,” she said.

According to the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health, 30 per cent of people diagnosed with a mental illness will also have a substance use disorder, 37 per cent of people diagnosed with an alcohol disorder will also have a mental illness and 53 per cent of people diagnosed with a substance use disorder (other than alcohol) will also have a mental illness at some point in their lives.

“Families often feel like they are alone when a loved one is living with a mental illness and an addiction,” said Dianne Hustler, manager of the Mental Illness Family Support Centre. “It is important for families to get support and information to help their loved in their recovery and to care for themselves as well.”

This free presentation hosted by the Mental Illness Family Support Centre takes place Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Best Western Vernon Lodge. RSVP with a message to 250-260-3233 or bcssvernon@shaw.ca

 

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