As with most communities living a Western lifestyle, we in the Comox Valley are not immune to the multitude of distractions in our modern world. How we address these individual realities as a group will determine the health and happiness of every person in our community.

In the next few weeks, Tide Change will publish an exclusive four part series looking at addictions, from coffee and Netflix binge watching to gambling and excessive drinking. We all have habits that we use to calm, relax and essentially numb ourselves when stresses in day to day life overwhelm our thinking and trigger a need reaction.

This series is not about shaming, blaming or even stopping what we, more often than not, do habitually and unconsciously. These four articles will cover the What, the How, the Why and finally the Where do we go from here questions.

One of the things I noticed during my first holiday season in the Comox Valley was the absence of an Operation Red Nose type group. Although I have noted that their website includes 11 communities in British Columbia, ours is not one of them. Now I may be missing information on alternate implemented options for a Comox Valley solution during peak holiday periods, for example increased police monitoring, collaboration between hospitality establishments and taxi companies to name only a few possibilities. I have recently been told that local music festivals have addressed this reality with a Big Bill Tent, a place where attendees can be given assistance and a safe place to rest and recuperate when they are under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

The group intention behind both Operation Red Nose and the Big Bill Tent is the same. It is to offer a community minded solution to a common occurrence. It is time that we look at ourselves as being “in the same boat”. We just happen to have our individual boats at different distances from the shore.  Everyone of our boats, from the row boat to the luxury yacht, can take on water and begin to sink. 

By addressing these four questions in February, we hope at Tide Change to offer a “safe” communication platform whereby, with the contributions of individuals and organizations already working for the physical and mental wellness of all people within the territory of the Comox Valley, a supportive conversation can be sparked repeatedly in the homes, in the schools, in the coffee shops and in the pubs, a dialogue begun with the virtual publication of these four articles. 

 

Catherine Hedrich

Editor in Chief, Tidechange.ca