The Oceanside Health and Wellness Network logo. (Submitted photo)

The Oceanside Health and Wellness Network logo. (Submitted photo)

Oceanside Health and Wellness Network fall learning series kicks off on Oct. 29

Group aims to foster community conversation to create a healthier future

The Oceanside Health and Wellness Network (OHWN) is hosting a series of events designed to help bring the community together.

The series kicks off Oct. 29 (10 a.m. to noon) with ‘The Great Disconnect’, a Canadian award-winning documentary that uncovers why, in a world seemingly more connected than before, people are feeling more and more socially isolated.

“We are excited to open the Oceanside Health and Wellness Network Fall Learning Series, Reconnecting Oceanside, with a virtual screening of this thought-provoking documentary, “says Jane Vinet, OHWN co-ordinator. “This is the first of four events OHWN is hosting to bring the citizens of Parksville Qualicum Beach together to have a community conversation about our experiences of the past year and a half, and share what worked, what changed, what we’ve learned about ourselves and our communities, and how we can collaboratively create a healthier future and recover from COVID-19.”

The film will be moderated by Tamer Soliman, the film’s creator. The participants will also be joined by Adam Walker, Parksville-Qualicum MLA and Dr. Sandra Allison, Island Health’s regional medical health officer for Central Vancouver Island, who will co-host the virtual discussions after the screening.

The movie will set the groundwork for the second virtual event, taking place Nov. 5, ‘Social Prescribing’ with Dr. Allison, who will talk about how social prescribing may be a way to connect people with chronic conditions to different types of community support, including social events, fitness classes, and social services.

“We hope that members from all organizations across Parksville Qualicum Beach will join us to talk about how we can build our social capital and take a more holistic approach to improve the physical and mental wellness of citizens,” said Vinet.

For two years, due to COVID-19, the Oceanside Health and Wellness Network has been unable to host its annual fall forum, but the work of the OHWN Oceanside Seniors Action Group (OSAG) and the Child and Youth Wellness Action Group has continued, and the two action tables will be reconnecting with families, neighbourhoods, and seniors by hosting two in-person events, and two online events. The OSAG, whose mission is to provide access to the needed supports for our older adults to age in place, will host a conversation with organizations that focus on success stories and lessons learned, so that we can continue to enhance social connectedness and build stronger connection to neighborhoods and communities throughout the region.

The Child Youth Wellness Action Group is focusing on the impact of COVID fatigue and COVID depletion on the families, employees and employers of the area and will share tips and strategies to get us through the fourth wave and build resilience and empathy for all community members who are struggling to cope.

Virtual events

• Oct. 29 (10 a.m. to noon): Screening of the award-winning film ‘The Great Disconnect’

Nov. 5 (10 a.m.):Social Prescribing with Dr. Sandra Allison, medical health officer

Nov. 24 (6 p.m.) Child Youth Wellness Action Group: ‘Weathering the Storm Together’

Nov. 29 (2 p.m.) Oceanside Seniors Action Group: ‘Reconnecting Oceanside’

In-person events

Nov. 19 (10 a.m.) Oceanside Seniors Action Group: ‘Reconnecting Oceanside’, Bradley Centre, Coombs

Nov. 26 (10 a.m.) Child Youth Wellness Action Group: ‘Weathering the Storm Together’, Bayside Resort, Parksville

(Vaccine passports required; limited seating)

Tickets to all events are free and are available on Eventbrite or by emailing info.ohwn@gmail.com or calling 250-739-1755. For more information about the Oceanside Health and Wellness Network and any of the Action Tables, visit OHWN’s website at www.rdn.bc.ca/ohwn, or visit them on Facebook.

READ MORE: Concerns aired at public health forum in Parksville

– NEWS Staff, submitted

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