News and Events

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Safe Communities Wellington County is hard at work in the first place. It is important to keep moving and to exercise.

Ernie Read. A 90-year-old resident of Mount Forest, participates in the Boosting Balance Program offered by the Mount Forest Family Health Team. He has been attending the weekly group since 2018 and feels that it has had a positive impact on his mobility and balance. Ernie had a fall three months ago, luckily, he was able to get up independently and was not injured. He attributes this positive outcome to exercising regularly – he attends Boosting Balance weekly and also enjoys walking outside with his walking poles. Ernie would also like to encourage those who are exercising alone to always wear a whistle as it is an inexpensive way to attract attention if help is needed.

Seniors in Wellington County are lucky to have access to the VON SMART exercise program. This exercise program is FREE. Kelly Gee, VON SMART Exercise Coordinator, and member of the Safe Communities Wellington County Falls Action Group, says “Exercise is the universal prescription to pretty much everything! Frailty is not inevitable, in fact, it is reversible. It is never too late to start exercising.”

Sue Hodgson, a participant of the VON SMART exercise program shares her fall story. While out with a friend at a restaurant, a hot beverage was overturned. In an effort to get out of the way, Sue quickly moved away from the table forgetting the step to their booth, and fell. This fall could have resulted in a life changing injury, but Sue who has been attending the SMART exercise program 2-3 times per week was able to walk away with her independence intact. Sue’s fitness level contributed to her resilience to injury and she was right back exercising the very next day. Exercise increases bone density, reducing the risk of a fracture.

For up to the minute updates

Wellington County Safe Communities Falls Action Group is working to raise awareness on steps you can take to reduce your risk of a fall. When watching television, avoiding a fall seems easy, with the advice of “just don’t fall”. Regardless of how educated you are about falls prevention, how good your balance is or how strong your muscles are, you can still experience a fall. When a senior, who is in good physical condition, falls, the impact of that fall is often reduced, and they are able to remain independent. Falls are the #1 cause of injuries to seniors. The fear of falling is real and can make seniors less confident and result in a reduction in their physical activity levels. As a result, their gait and balance deteriorate. This puts them at an increased risk of falling; which is exactly what they were trying to avoid in the first place. It is important to keep moving and to exercise.

Ernie Read. A 90-year-old resident of Mount Forest, participates in the Boosting Balance Program offered by the Mount Forest Family Health Team. He has been attending the weekly group since 2018 and feels that it has had a positive impact on his mobility and balance. Ernie had a fall three months ago, luckily, he was able to get up independently and was not injured. He attributes this positive outcome to exercising regularly – he attends Boosting Balance weekly and also enjoys walking outside with his walking poles. Ernie would also like to encourage those who are exercising alone to always wear a whistle as it is an inexpensive way to attract attention if help is needed.

Seniors in Wellington County are lucky to have access to the VON SMART exercise program. This exercise program is FREE. Kelly Gee, VON SMART Exercise Coordinator, and member of the Safe Communities Wellington County Falls Action Group, says “Exercise is the universal prescription to pretty much everything! Frailty is not inevitable, in fact, it is reversible. It is never too late to start exercising.”

Sue Hodgson, a participant of the VON SMART exercise program shares her fall story. While out with a friend at a restaurant, a hot beverage was overturned. In an effort to get out of the way, Sue quickly moved away from the table forgetting the step to their booth, and fell. This fall could have resulted in a life changing injury, but Sue who has been attending the SMART exercise program 2-3 times per week was able to walk away with her independence intact. Sue’s fitness level contributed to her resilience to injury and she was right back exercising the very next day. Exercise increases bone density, reducing the risk of a fracture.

Bell Let’s Talk Day is on January 29, 2020 Please join Safe Communities Wellington County and our partners to End The Stigma and Start a Conversation!

There are five simple ways to end the stigma and start a conversation:

  1. Your Words Matter
  2. Educate Yourself
  3. Be Kind
  4. Listen and Ask
  5. Talk About It

Learn More


What is Wellington County Doing?

Through a partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), CMHA clinicians are working alongside Police Officers to assist in real-time with, calls involving those in crisis. The Program is called IMPACT (Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team). 2017 saw a record number of requests for service. In total, 586 calls were received with 431 individuals being served through the program. Clinicians attended a total of 289 live calls with police with 207 individuals not requiring a trip to an Emergency Department. Individuals were instead connected with services and supports that could better serve their needs. This is an extraordinary 73% diversion rate which permits the reinvestment of health, paramedic, and police services to address other important tasks.

GOOD NEWS FROM IMPACT

A camp serving people with disabilities called to say a camper was having behaviours that could pose risk or harm to other campers, staff and themselves. This camper also had significant medical issues that could be complicated by emergency service intervention. The officer responding asked IMPACT to assist in coordinating a response. IMPACT called the campers parents, who advised that the individual could not be returned home and the individual did not have a home address to return to due to his very complex needs. IMPACT learned that the camper had recently been in a hospital unit for medical needs. The hospital was called and IMPACT was advised that the camper could indeed return to their facility. Police and IMPACT together coordinated with EMS to transport the individual to the hospital already familiar with them. IMPACT attended the camp and the camper was calmly taken by ambulance back to the hospital where their needs could be met and risk could be managed. Police stood-by in case of violence, and all was accomplished in a very safe, supportive way, with the individual agreeing to each step of the plan.

Learn how to focus on promoting young people’s strengths!

Safe Communities Wellington County has been partnering with Lions Clubs of Canada and Lions Quest Canada to bring an amazing workshop to Wellington County. Already, we have brought together organizations and over 100 people across Wellington County to learn the 40 Problem Solving Skills Young People Need to Succeed.

This workshop will help you promote self reliance, independence, and ultimately, success in life for the young people in your life.

Workshop Highlights & Agenda:
  • Understand the “Ripple Effect” and identify where you can do your part
  • Commit to making a difference
  • Learn how your simple, everyday actions can have an impact
  • Shift from focusing on young people’s problems to promoting their strengths

Our next workshop will take place in The Town of Puslinch. Date To Be Determined.

This is a Community Development Opportunity Facilitated by:

Lions Quest Canada – www.lionsquest.caARTHUR – Wellington North Safe Communities is hosting a free opioid seminar in Arthur on Oct. 2 from 7 to 9pm.

A similar event in Mount Forest last year and had over 60 people attend and organizers are hoping for a larger crowd this time.

Mayor Gregg Davidson participated VON SMART Exercise Class in Drayton wearing his no limits t-shirt in Support of Falls Prevention Month in November. Gregg’s t-shirt was perfect for the class as all the participants are going beyond those ageist beliefs that frailty is inevitable. All the exercisers are over 55 years of age, many of them in their 80’s and 90’s. November is Falls Prevention Month which highlights, “We all have a role to play”.

Falls are not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. The best way to prevent falls, or the injury from falls, is to exercise.

Exercising will reduce the residual affects of falls. The stronger the body is, the less likely one will sustain injuries.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall”

– Confucius

Wellington County, October 3, 2019 – Safe Communities Wellington County (SCWC) held its 5th annual Safe Communities Day on October 3, 2019 at The Royal Distributing Athletic Performance Centre in Marden. Four Hundred grades 5 & 6 students from across Wellington County attended Safe Communities Day. Students visited 18 stations teaching them about Safety and Prevention from organizations across Wellington County and Guelph area. New this Year, Safe Communities Wellington County recruited 34 Grade 8 student volunteers to lead groups from station to station. “It gave the grade 8’s an opportunity to show how capable they are at being leaders and role models for younger students,” states Program Coordinator, Christine Veit, “In my eyes, it was a success, and we hope to continue this leadership opportunity for them.”

This year, each scheduled stop had a presentation or activity that lasted 9 minutes; providing some great information for the students to bring back to their schools, homes, and communities.

Thank you to all of the organizations who make Safe Communities Day possible. You come out to educate the students year after year and help the students become Safety Ambassadors!

  • Brenmar Transportation Services
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Falls and Prevention Priority Advisory Group
  • Grand River Conservation Authority
  • Guelph Eramosa Physiotherapy
  • Guelph-Eramosa Fire Services
  • Guelph-Eramosa Safe Communities
  • Guelph Fire Services
  • Guelph Humane Society
  • Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services
  • Intentional Self Harm Priority Advisory Group
  • Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Minto Safe Communities
  • Motor Vehicle Collision Priority Advisory Group
  • Operation Lifesaver
  • Puslinch Fire Services
  • Wellington County Farm & Home Safety Association
  • Wellington County OPP
  • YouthTalk

Thank you to all of the Principles, Teachers and Chaperones who registered your schools and attended Safe Communities Day 2019! We are looking forward to hosting Wellington Catholic District School Board on October 1, 2020! Stay tuned for updates in 2020.

Safe Communities Wellington County and Parachute Canada urge teens to #KnowWhatImpairedMeans and help save lives

Wellington County, October 2019 – Drug-impaired driving among teens is a major concern. A ten-year trend shows one in four teens who died in a motor vehicle crash tested positive for cannabis. Safe Communities Wellington County is partnering with Parachute for National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), which takes place October 20 – 26, to create positive behaviour changes to reduce injury rates among teens.

Parachute National Teen Driver Safety Week is an annual public awareness campaign. This year, drugged driving is the primary focus; and messaging to teens will also address distracted, impaired and aggressive driving, including speeding. Safe Communities Wellington County and Parachute are calling on all teens to #KnowWhatImpairedMeans.

Some key facts:
  • Some teens believe using cannabis would make them a better driver – This is false!
  • Speeding is a factor in one third of teen driver deaths
  • Distracted driving is a factor in 15-19 per cent of all fatal crashes involving teen drivers
  • According to a recent survey, 96 per cent of Canadian drivers would stop driving distracted, if a passenger asked them to

“Young people make up just 12 per cent of licensed drivers, but account for about 20 per cent of all road-related injuries and deaths,” says Christine Veit, Program Coordinator, Safe Communities Wellington County. “Through NTDSW and community initiatives like our Positive Ticketing Blitz, we are encouraging young drivers to think about risks and responsibility, and why they should choose to make safety their no.1 priority.”

New this year to National Teen Driver Safety Week, we visited 5 Wellington County High Schools, including our most recent addition, Emmanuel Christian High School in Fergus. Safe Communities Wellington County, along with our Community Partners, Wellington County OPP, Centre Wellington Fire Department, and Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services also had the opportunity to present our lived experiences through two assemblies at Centre Wellington District High School.

This series promotes education and awareness about Opioids and Mental Health.

Kitchen Table Talk – Opioids 101

During this Kitchen Table Talk, attendees have the opportunity to learn about opioid and naloxone truths from frontline workers and people with lived experience. This Table Talk is in cooperation with Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy.

Naloxone Training & kits will be provided. If you are interested in bringing this Kitchen Table Talk Series to your community within Wellington County, please contact [email protected]

Kitchen Table Talk – Mental Health

Partnering with the Canadian Mental Health Association and The Suicide Awareness Council of Guelph Wellington, Safe Communities Wellington County’s Intentional Self Harm Group has created a Kitchen Table Talk on Mental Health. Real People – Their Stories – Creating Conversation Around Mental Health and Well Being through Guided Discussions. Our Spring Kitchen Table Talk focused on Death by Suicide and Sucide Attempt Survivors and the impact & journey’s people have taken afterward.

A Spring Kitchen Table Talk is being planned for the Spring in Wellington North.

Parachute Safe Kids Week, sponsored by Hydro One and brought to Wellington County by Safe Communities Wellington County, is an annual campaign to raise public awareness of child safety issues, and encouraging community involvement as part of the solution.

Parachute Safe Kids Week 2019 took place June 3 to 9, with hundreds of communities holding events across Canada. The messaging focused on the topic of preventing harm from children’s falls in the home and at play.

Families had the opportunity to download the falls checklist, complete it, and present it to 1 of our 14 library branches in Wellington County for a ballot to win a prize!

In addition to information and activities at all of the Wellington County Library Branches, we held Information Tables and Storytime’s, reading Alex at the Playground.

Palmerston Child Care and Learning Centre – Storytime – Monday, June 3, 2019 – 10:15 am to 11:00 am

Victoria Park Field – Information Table – Tuesday, June 4, 2019 – 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Stait Park Fergus – Storytime with Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services, and Centre Wellington Fire Department – Wednesday, June 5, 2019 – 9:00 am to 9:45 am

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