News and Events

October 22, 2021 Update:

On October 22, 2021, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, released A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term.

This plan outlines Ontario’s cautious and gradual approach to lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures by March 2022. It will be guided by the ongoing assessment of key public health and health care indicators and supported by local or regional tailored responses to covid 19.

Over the next six months, Ontario will slowly and incrementally lift all remaining public health and workplace safety measures, including:

  • wearing face coverings in indoor public settings
  • removing the provincial requirement for proof of vaccination

To ensure that public health and workplace safety measures are lifted safely, this phased approach will be guided by the ongoing assessment and monitoring of key public health and health care indicators, such as:

  • the identification of any new covid 19 variants
  • increases in hospitalizations
  • ICU occupancy and rapid increases in transmission

In the absence of concerning trends, public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted based on the proposed following milestones (PDF).

For up to the minute updates

Our Safety and Well-Being Plan for Wellington County

The Community Safety and Well-Being Plan demonstrates the County’s commitment to partner with Safe Communities Wellington County.  Together we can identify and prioritise the issues facing our residents.  This plan identifies the areas that can make a significant impact by harnessing the power of prevention and our social development instead of heavily taxing our incident response.

Wellington County Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

If you are interested in receiving a hard copy of the plan, please contact Christine Veit at [email protected]

Cost of a Snow Globe with another Christmas Scene $39.95 – Cost of Preventing a Fall…PRICELESS

STOCKING STUFFERS

  • Ice pick for cane
  • Long handled shoe horn
  • Long handled reacher
  • Sock aid
  • Nightlights with backup battery
  • Handy bar
  • Double sided tape for scatter rugs

GIFT IDEAS

  • New winter boots with high traction (www.ratemytreads.com)
  • Smart watch
  • Stationary foot pedal
  • Portable telephone
  • Motion sensor lights for outdoor entrances
  • Handrails that you can grip on both sides of the stairs
  • Grab bars for washroom

Most items are available at your local home health store.  If you can’t locate or need other ideas, please contact O.T. Olivia Twinkle at [email protected]

All residents of Wellington County play a role in preventing falls.

Why we need Fall Prevention Month and why are falls the #2 priority for Safe Communities Wellington County:
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalisations among Canadian older adults. 20-30% of older adults fall each year [1]
  • Falls are the leading cause for hospital admissions from injuries for children ages 0 to 14 [2]

Fall Prevention Month encourages organisations to coordinate their efforts for a larger impact. Canadian organisations participate by planning initiatives and sharing evidence-based information on fall prevention. Together we can raise the profile of fall prevention and encourage everyone to see their role in preventing falls and fall-related injuries across the lifespan.

For some great activities and education on Falls prevention visit The Falls Prevention Month Website.

STRATEGIES FOR WALKING AND BIKING AT NIGHT!

  1. Make sure you wear reflective gear and have front and back lights on your bicycle.
  2. Choose your route wisely.  Choosing a route that is well lit and you are more comfortable with will help you navigate areas that are not as bright.
  3. Know your safety rules for night walking or biking.  Remember to use sidewalks or off-road paths, unfortunately, cars are not always looking for cyclists and pedestrians when it is dark. 
    If you are walking and have to be on the road, walk facing traffic, and use extra caution when you are crossing roads when you are on your bicycle of when you are walking.
  4. Avoid distracted walking or biking.  This is not specific to night biking or walking, actually.  This is a general rule of thumb to keep yourself safe in and around roads. Unfortunately, when you are distracted, you are not aware of your surroundings which can lead to a preventable injury.
  5. Shift your biking or walking time.  
  6. It is always fun to be in a group.  It is not only more social, but is also more safe.  There are, truly, strength in numbers!

Safe Communities Wellington County is, once again, proud to support the ninth annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), an awareness week designed to build public awareness of teen driver safety issues and encourage communities to be part of the solution. Parachute’s and Safe Communities Wellington County’s  goal is for Canadians to have a long life, lived to the fullest. NTDSW provides the tools to take this important messaging to the community.  National Teen Driver Safety Week 2021 ran from October 17 to 23, 2021.  Keeping with the same theme, this year the primary focus was on the critical issue of speeding among teens. Our additional messaging was around drug-impaired, drunk, distracted and aggressive driving, and rail safety.

DYK?

  • Speeding means driving faster than the speed limit, but also driving too fast for road conditions.
  • Nearly a quarter of fatal collisions in Canada involve excessive speed or driving too fast for conditions.
  • Young drivers (aged 16 to 24) killed in a collision are more likely to be speeding at the time of the crash than other age groups.
  • Speeding is a factor in one third of teen driver deaths in Canada.
  • Pedestrians struck by a driver at higher speeds are less likely to survive than when struck at lower speeds. At 30 km/h, the risk of pedestrian fatality is 5 per cent. At 50 km/h, the risk of fatality is nearly six times higher, at 29 per cent.
  • Teens drivers killed in a crash are more likely than any other age group to test positive for cannabis.
  • Alcohol is a factor in almost half of fatal crashes among 16- to 25-year-olds.

Similar to NTDSW 2020, this year, due to physical distancing restrictions and limits on in-person gatherings, Safe Communities Wellington County held a social media campaign and has extended education about National Teen Driver Safety Week through a Tik Tok/Reels Contest.  Create a video, post and register here to win one of 100 $20 gift cards

Wellington County, October 14, 2021 –

Safe Communities Day is an annual public awareness campaign designed to recognize and reward the great work Safe Communities do in Canada and around the world. Sixty-six communities in Canada have been designated as Safe Communities. Linked to an international movement begun in 1989, Canadian Safe Communities believe that a safe life is a basic right and its designation is a public affirmation of, and testament to, a community’s aspiration to create a safer life for all its citizens.

This year, Safe Communities Day on October 14, 2021 was celebrated virtually with over  600 Students, 24 classes, and 12 schools from Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board.  Students had the opportunity to watch videos and ask questions about  Safety and Prevention from Coordinator, Christine Veit, and individuals  & organisations across Wellington County.

Thank you to all of the organisations who make Safe Communities Day possible. 

  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Falls and Prevention Action Group
  • Guelph-Eramosa Fire Services
  • Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services
  • Mental Health Action Group
  • Wellington County OPP
  • Wellington County Emergency Management

Thank you to all of the Principles and Teachers who registered your schools and virtually attended Safe Communities Day 2021! We are looking forward to hosting you on October 6, 2022! Stay tuned for updates in 2022.

Teachers and Principals, if you did not have an opportunity to attend our virtual Safe Communities Day, please visit out Safe Communities Day video playlist to learn about safety and prevention in Wellington County. 

Kids eating ice cream

Mapleton Shine’s a Light on Injury Prevention!

On Monday, July 5, 2021, Parachute celebrated its fifth National Injury Prevention Day in Canada to raise awareness about the devastating effects of predictable and preventable injuries. Our goal is to educate others and help all Canadians live long lives to the fullest.

It is a day to raise awareness around the importance of injury prevention and aid Canadians to live long lives to the fullest through education and advocacy. Health Canada recognizes this date as an official national Health Promotion Day.

Injury prevention is critical to saving lives:

Did you know that unintentional injury is the No. 1 cause of death of Canadians ages 1 to 34? Or that injury costs the Canadian economy $29.4 billion a year?

Safe Communities Wellington County celebratea National Injury Prevention Day every year in hopes of decreasing the number of preventable injuries that are happening across Wellington County.  This year Mapleton Safe Communities created an amazing experience, truly shining a light on injury prevention and also satisfying some sweet tooth’s along the way!  Amazing job!

May 31, 2021 – Parachute Canada and Safe Communities Wellington County is encouraging Canadian parents to get their kids to #PlaySafeOutdoors, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Now in its 25th year, Safe Kids Week is an annual campaign to raise public awareness of child safety issues in Canada, encouraging community involvement as part of the solution. Safe Kids Week ran from May 30 to June 5, 2021 and  focused on why and how parents and caregivers can encourage their kids to #PlaySafeOutdoors.  Safe Communities Wellington County put families on a wild GooseChase that had 20 families complete a safety scavenger hunt to get the whole family outdoors.  “We can’t wait for next year’s focus”, says Program Coordinator, Christine Veit.

“Fewer than five per cent of children and fewer than one per cent of youth are meeting healthy movement behaviour guidelines during COVID-19 restrictions,” says Pamela Fuselli, President and CEO of Parachute. “We have to get our kids outside, being active and engaging in unstructured and outdoor play daily, to encourage mental, physical, social and emotional well-being.

 

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.

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.