Vernon mayoral candidate wants to see Okanagan communities join forces against addiction | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon mayoral candidate wants to see Okanagan communities join forces against addiction

Darrin Taylor speaks at a town hall meeting hosted by the Activate Safety Task Force April 5, 2018.
September 27, 2018 - 3:00 PM

VERNON - Mayoral candidate Darrin Taylor promises to be a voice for the citizens of Vernon and to push the province for more mental health and addictions support.

Taylor, 53, is a political newcomer, although he chaired the high-profile Activate Safety Task Force which recently tabled a report at city council. He is a registered interventionist, therapeutic counsellor and CEO of Axis Intervention.

Taylor says in a phone interview that although the provisions to provide care to those with addictions falls under the province’s jurisdiction, there’s a lot that can be done at the city level.

He was inspired at an event in New Westminster where Minister for Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy spoke about what’s being done at Vancouver Coastal Health.

“I don’t think that the Okanagan is being provided the level of services that I heard… Coastal Health is providing their patients,” Taylor says. “As mayor of Vernon I would come alongside other mayors and be a voice for the citizens up here and invite the province to provide more support to Interior Health.”

Taylor says he wants Okanagan cities to come together and call upon the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, along with Interior Health, to provide more resources for the assessment, treatment and long-term care for patients battling addiction.

“It’s not just an opioid crisis, for as long as I have been practicing: alcohol, cocaine, crack cocaine, meth amphetamines — addiction is a massive problem,” he says. “Why aren’t we as a community making a decision to go all in and do all that we can to help patients? It’s not a 'do this' or 'do that.' We ought to be doing everything that we can.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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