CITY PAGES: Mental Health, Scams, and New LGBTQ+ Support Line

The City of Guelph, and it’s various partners and agencies, put out a lot of information on a weekly basis, and while it all ends up on the City’s website somewhere, wouldn’t it be easier to just scroll through it all on one easy-to-read article on Guelph Politico here…?

Mayor Holds Mental Health Talk on Wednesday

For World Mental Health Day on October 6, Mayor Cam Guthrie will host the 22nd annual Mental Health Day event. Called “The Path Forward: Mental health in the wake of COVID-19,” Guthie will be joined by Bracelet of Hope founder Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik, and the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Helen Fishburn. You have two ways to watch, you can either register on Zoom or watch live on Facebook. The talk begins at 11 am.

Library Now Lets You Borrow Educational Toys

The Guelph Public Library, long known as a place where you can borrow books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, and even digital books and media, is now lending educational toys for young children ages three and under. The library promises that the toys available are made of natural materials, have no electronic parts, and will allow your child to have fun and expand their horizons simultaneously.

“I started Toy Exchange Club to make childhood play more sustainable by using a sharing economy model, eliminating plastic toys, and reducing toy and packaging waste,” said Toy Exchange Club owner Carissa Bourrie who’s working with the library on the new toy section. “This partnership extends that vision further. I am truly thrilled to work with the library on this project and am eager to see the results of our collective impact.”

You can search “educational toys” in the library’s catalogue to see what’s available at all branches.

New Support Line for LGBTQ+ Youth Launches

On Monday, Compass Community Services will launch a new help line for LGBTQ+  youth in Guelph and  Wellington County who are experiencing homophobia, transphobia, or bullying due to their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Compass provides “responsive and professional resources that foster well-being into their communities,” so anyone who needs support around coming out, is questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, or who may be experiencing depression or anxiety, are invited to call. The line will operate seven days a week, including holidays, from 8 am to 10 pm, and will be available by calling or texting to (226) 669-3760.

Police Warn About Door-to-Door Soliciting

Almost any reputable company will not try and sell you something door-to-door anymore, so if someone comes to your house to sell, the Guelph Police Service is asking you to make sure you’re not getting defrauded. “We have recently received some reports of people being approached and offered benefits if they sign documents only to later learn the documents signed were not what the citizen thought and the citizen homeowner is suddenly in debt due to the signing of these unread documents which have created a lien against their properties,” said a police press release.

Follow these four tips to reduce the risk of getting ripped-off by scammers:

1. Don’t sign anything without first reading it thoroughly and consider having a professional such as a lawyer review any contract you are thinking of signing.

2. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is a scam. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot.

3. Never share personal information or copies of bills with someone you don’t know.

4. Don’t let anyone into your home unless you invited them or have taken steps to confirm their identity. If someone attempts to enter your home without your consent, call 911.

If you believe you have become a victim of fraud, contact your local police service and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 (toll-free) or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

Don’t Hang Up If You Call 911

Another tip from Guelph Police, if you should so happen to accidentally call 911, please stay on the line and do not hang up. This public service announcement comes after 911 received 47 total accidental calls in a 24-hour period earlier this week. In case you weren’t aware, some cellphones are programmed to call 911 if the volume buttons are pressed too many times in quick succession, so it’s an understandable mix up, but by hanging up when its discovered you accidentally dial 911, police have to spend time trying to re-establish contact in case you’re in real trouble.

“If you notice your phone has called 911 in error, please stay on the line to provide your information and explain what happened. You will not get in trouble and providing this information prevents the requirement of additional police resources,” the police notice said.

Paramedic Services to Offer Palliative Care at Home

Starting on Monday, Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Services will be launching a new palliative care program that will allow people in Guelph and Wellington County to access end of life care in their own homes. Adapted from a similar program Nova Scotia, paramedics will receive training from palliative care physicians, and will have access to new medications that can be administered at home, and offer emergency transportation to the hospital if necessary.

“We believe the palliative care program will improve patient comfort at the end of life stage and increase support for families,” said Leanne Swantko, deputy chief of Guelph-Wellington Paramedic Services, in a media release. “This program helps to respect the patient’s wishes, which is often to die in dignity at home, surrounded by the people they love and in places that are familiar to them.”

To participate in the program, patients must be registered with the palliative team of Home and Community Care.

Road Construction Update

Louisa Drive will be closed between Palmer and Grange Streets from October 5-7 for repair and repaving, while Alma Street South between Inkerman and Crimea will be closed for two weeks starting on October 12 for the installation of new sewer and water pipes. Meanwhile, work on the Macdonell Street Bridge will continue every weekend until the end of October excluding a one-week break over the Thanksgiving long weekend. In other news, the first phase of reconstruction on Speedvale Avenue between Glenwood and Marlborough has been deferred due to tender costs being more than the approved budget.

And Finally…

Last week was Local Government week, so the mayor made a video about it!

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