A group of Kelowna women who have lost loved ones to overdose are hosting an awareness event for International Overdose Awareness Day.
The Moms Stop the Harm event is set for Aug. 29—two days before International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31—in Kerry Park and will feature Naloxone training, music and a candlelight vigil in memory of lives lost. The event is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m.
This is the third annual event that Moms Stop the Harm is hosting for International Overdose Awareness Day.
Recently, the group met for a photo in Knox Mountain Park to create an impactful photo showcasing just how many lives are affected—and lost—due to overdose.
The photo was taken by photographer Nicole Richard with Wax Pencil Imagery.
Helen Jennens of Moms Stop the Harm said that each person in that photo was impacted by the opioid crisis and she has lost two children herself to the epidemic.
“Two of them had lost spouses and everybody else in that photo lost a child,” she said.
Kelowna General Hospital will also be recognizing the day on Aug. 31, lighting up the pedestrian bridge in purple to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and recognize the grief felt by those who have lost a loved one as a result of a drug overdose.
In 2017, Mayor Colin Basran signed a proclamation officially recognizing Aug. 31 as International Overdose Awareness Day.