CCCKL Recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day and World Suicide Prevention Day

September 12, 2023

On August 30th, International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) was marked by a number of agencies in Victoria Park, Lindsay. Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes Hospice Services was pleased to support those in our community who have been affected by overdose deaths. Together with other community agencies, Hospice Services staff and volunteers provided information and support to the event participants. The day culminated with a butterfly release in the garden hosted by the John Howard Society. A number of grief clients were able to take part in this meaningful act of remembrance for their loved one. At our recent No Time to Say Goodbye meeting, which supports clients who have experienced suicide, overdose and traumatic deaths, a mother of a young man who died by overdose shared her experience with a few group members. She was given a butterfly to release on behalf of her son, and she shared that, “…the butterfly was in no rush to leave my hand. I felt that my son was still with me then in the fluttering of the tiny wings.” Events such as IOAD help to raise awareness in our community around overdose poisoning and support those who are grieving the loss of precious person in their lives.

A memorial vigil was also recently held on September 10th to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. CCCKL Hospice Services, along with Canadian Mental Health Association and the John Howard Society, provided the participants with information around suicide prevention and support for grievers. A short vigil was held at Old Mill park in Lindsay honouring the memories of those who died by suicide. A poem written for a Hospice Service’s client was shared with the group and Amy Van Halteren provided the music. The weather for the event was perfect and after the short service, attendees were invited to walk to the deck at the river’s edge to gently toss a carnation into the waves, allowing the flower to be carried by the current to wherever the final destination took it. This simple act of remembrance allowed grievers to reflect upon the person they lost to suicide and to remember how they touched their heart.

Hospice Services offers a variety of support groups for those who have had a recent loss, ranging to those who are further along in their grief journey. Discussion and personal reflection begin the journey of moving forward through grief while exploring ways to cope with life following the loss of a loved one. Visit our Hospice Services webpage to learn more about the grief support programs we offer.