West Lincoln council notebook: Pride flag, mental health petition, suicide crisis hotline

·2 min read

The raising of the Pride flag, endorsement of a mental health petition and support for a suicide crisis hotline initiative — these are some of the topics discussed at West Lincoln’s May 25 council meeting.

West Lincoln to fly Pride flag

On June 1 West Lincoln will join all 12 of Niagara's municipalities in the raising of the Pride flag outside town hall, as June is recognized as Pride month.

“We value being able to live in such a warm, caring and inclusive community,” said councillor Cheryl Ganann. “It is our sincere hope that all who reside or visit here, will feel welcome, supported and valued.”

West Lincoln endorses mental health petition

With a guest presentation from Steven Soos regarding Petition E-3351, West Lincoln council voted unanimously in favour of endorsing the petition. Soos is a support worker in the development services sector and also hosts a podcast, True Politics.

The petition, which has been supported by other councils in the region, is calling for the federal government to examine the merits of declaring a national emergency on mental health. In the wake of the pandemic, 50 per cent of Canadians have reportedly seen a decline in mental health, according to the petition and per Soos’ presentation, the suicide rate is higher in the Niagara region than the provincial average.

Endorsement of 988 suicide crisis hotline

A motion, passed by the House of Commons, to have Canada adopt the number 988 as national suicide crisis hotline, received a unanimous vote of endorsement from West Lincoln council.

Originally proposed as a "friendly" amendment to the endorsement of Petition E-3551 by councillor William Riley, council opted to vote on the motion of endorsing the adoption of the hotline as a separate motion.

The 988 hotline initiative was inspired by an American hotline with the same number and purpose — to avoid the need by those in crisis to have to remember a 10-digit number, and to prevent callers being caught up in directories, or being placed on hold.

The line is not yet functional in Canada.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News

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