Posts tagged HKPR District Health Unit
Watch for Heat Warnings to be issued this Summer

Submitted by the HKPR District Health Unit

When hot, humid weather hits home this summer, take precautions to beat the heat, the local Health Unit advises.

This summer, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will issue public warnings in the lead-up to extremely warm conditions in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. A heat warning will be issued when day-time temperatures are forecast to be 31°C or higher, with a minimum day-time low of 20°C or higher, for two consecutive days. A heat warning is also issued if the humidex will be 40°C or higher for two consecutive days.The Health Unit will issue an extended heat warning when the same conditions apply, but the heat event is expected to last for three or more days in a row.

Notifications will be posted on the Health Unit’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/HKPRDHU) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/HKPRDHU) pages. Information is also available by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

“Heat-related illnesses can take a toll on many people, especially infants, older adults and people with chronic conditions,” says Melissa Johnstone, Emergency Management Coordinator with the Health Unit. “If a heat warning is issued, residents are encouraged not to overdo things and instead drink plenty of water and seek out cool places.”

During heat warnings, many municipalities open cooling centres where people can visit to beat the heat. Johnstone suggests people contact their local municipality for the locations of cooling centres in their community. People are also encouraged to:

  • Avoid going out in the sun or heat when possible.

  • Stay cool, and if possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall, library, community centre, or friend's house.

  • Stay in the shade as much as possible. If you plan to go outside during a very hot day, do so early in the morning or evening when it is cooler.

  • Avoid outdoor sports and physical activity.

  • Wear loose-fitting, light clothing and a wide brimmed hat.

  • Drink lots of water, even if you don't feel very thirsty. Avoid alcohol, coffee/tea and pop.

  • Check in regularly with vulnerable family, friends, neighbours and others who could be affected by the heat. These include children, older adults and persons with chronic illnesses. Make sure they are OK and are well-hydrated.

  • Avoid heavy meals that involve using the oven or other hot appliances.

  • Keep shades, drapes and blinds closed on the sunny side of your home, but keep windows open slightly. If you do not have air conditioning, use fans.

  • Keep lights off or turned low.

  • Take a cool bath or shower periodically, or cool down with cool, wet towels.

  • Never leave a child or pet in a closed, parked vehicle.

[Media Release] Time to Fight Lyme

Submitted by Kendra Fleming

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) – The return of nicer weather means it’s also time for a ‘tick talk’ – a reminder to be on the lookout for blacklegged ticks that may spread Lyme disease.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit encourages local residents to avoid blacklegged (or deer) ticks. This type of tick may carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, an illness that can lead to recurring arthritis, neurological problems, numbness or paralysis if left untreated. With blacklegged ticks known to be present in many parts of Ontario, it’s important to take precautions.

“Blacklegged ticks settle on tall grasses and bushes, and then attach themselves to a passing person or animal,” says Dharminder Kaler, a Public Health Inspector with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Once attached, a tick will feed on the host’s blood. The longer a blacklegged tick feeds, the more it becomes engorged and the greater the risk it can spread Lyme disease to a person.”

To avoid blacklegged ticks, the Health Unit suggests you: apply bug spray containing DEET on your skin and clothing; wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants; pull socks over your pant legs if possible; and stay on marked trails when walking in a nature area. To keep ticks away from your property, cut grass short and trim bushes and branches to let in sunlight. More tick prevention tips and additional Lyme resources are available on the Health Unit website (www.hkpr.on.ca).

After being outside, Kaler also suggests checking your entire body for ticks. It’s a good idea to have a shower as soon as you can to wash off any ticks. Put your clothes in a dryer on high heat for at least 10 minutes to kill any ticks that may be attached.

If you notice a tick on your body, remove it as soon as possible. There are many tick removal products available, so be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions. If using finely-tipped tweezers, grasp the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull it slowly, straight out. Immediately after, wash the bite area with soap and water, or alcohol-based sanitizer.

People should see a health care provider right away if a blacklegged tick has been attached for more than 24 hours or is engorged (meaning it’s been feeding for some time). You should also seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of Lyme disease, such as skin rash, fever, headache and muscle/joint pain. If detected early, Lyme can be treated successfully with antibiotics.

If you have been bitten by a blacklegged tick, you can submit it for testing to the Health Unit. Ticks are tested for surveillance purposes only to see if they are the type that can transmit Lyme disease.

People can also identify ticks online through the eTick website (www.etick.ca). Using the online portal, submit a photo of the tick you have encountered. Within 48 hours, you will be notified if it is a blacklegged tick which is the type that may spread Lyme disease. The result is not meant to provide medical advice, but can help people determine if they wish to see a health care provider.

For media inquiries, contact:

Dharminder Kaler, Public Health Inspector, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2209.

Upcoming HKPR Health Unit Community Events

Submitted by Bill Eekhof

LINDSAY: No-Family Doctor Immunization Clinic, Tuesday, April 2, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. Free immunization clinics for families without a doctor. To book an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 4, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Monday, April 8, 10 am to Noon. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 11, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Men’s Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 11, 5-7 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This sexual health clinic provides men with testing/treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections and a chance to discuss their sexual health issues with a nurse. Appointments preferred, but walk-ins welcome. Call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205, for more information.

LINDSAY: Food Handler Course, Tuesday, April 16, 9 am to 4 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This course teaches participants how to handle and prepare food safely. Upon successful completion, participants receive a certificate (valid for a period of five years) indicating they are registered as a certified food handler. Cost is $40 per person. For more information and to confirm space availability, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 18, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 25, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

Whooping Cough Cases Prompt Reminder from Health Unit

Press Release submitted by Kendra Fleming

The local health unit is urging parents to make sure their children’s immunizations are up-to-date after being notified of one laboratory confirmed case and three linked cases of pertussis in a Northumberland County family.

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a serious bacterial infection of the respiratory system. It is easily spread through droplets in the air from the coughing or sneezing of an infected person. While anyone can get whooping cough, it is most dangerous for children under the age of one year, and pregnant women.

Whooping cough typically starts with a runny nose and an irritating cough that becomes more frequent or severe, often followed by vomiting, says Marianne Rock, Manager of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Once a person is infected, it can take up to 20 days for them to develop symptoms,” she says.

The Health Unit was notified this week that one case of whooping cough had been confirmed with laboratory testing, and that three other family members in the same household are ill with symptoms. Those ill were either not vaccinated or partially vaccinated against the virus.

Whooping cough is preventable through immunization, and Rock says the reminder to parents about their children’s vaccinations comes at a time when the Health Unit has been busy sending notices to area students whose vaccination records are not up-to-date. These notices tell families that if vaccination records are not updated, or a valid exemption for medical, conscience or religious reasons is not submitted to the Health Unit, students will be suspended from school starting in April.

“While it is not the Health Unit’s intent to suspend students, there is a requirement for all students to be vaccinated,” Rock notes. “Vaccines are free, safe and effective, and help protect young people against very serious diseases.”

The current cases of whooping cough are recovering at home, Rock says, and the Health Unit has been following up with anyone who may have been in contact with the family. At this time, there does not appear to be any additional cases, but she encourages anyone who develops symptoms to contact their health care provider or emergency room to arrange for testing.

The Health Unit is also holding immunization clinics for students or people who do not have a health care provider. To learn more, or to book an appointment, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.


For media inquiries, contact: Marianne Rock, Manager, Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1486

At Any Age

Media Release Submitted by Bill Eekhof

While Valentine’s Day may come only once a year, the Health Unit is sending a message of love it hopes will resonate with people all the time.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit encourages local residents to look after their sexual health and well-being throughout their lives. That’s the theme of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (www.srhweek.ca), which runs February 11-15 and focuses on the importance of ‘sexual health at all ages.’

“At any age or stage of life, we need to look after our sexual health since it is important for overall well-being,” says Jennifer Kurpjuweit, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Big or small, old or new and at every age in between, our sexual health matters.”

Promoting and supporting sexual health takes different forms at different ages:

  • For babies and children, it is important to teach – in an age-appropriate way – that sexuality is a natural, normal and healthy part of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. “We need to move away from a one-time, awkward conversation about the birds and the bees with children and instead normalize talking about gender and sexuality as they grow up,” Kurpjuweit says.

  • For teens, healthy sexual development includes talking about puberty and bodily changes, making safe and appropriate choices about sex, and providing the information they need to build healthy, lasting and respectful relationships.

  • As adults, sexual health involves more than just deciding whether to have children or not. “Sexual health also means taking care of our reproductive health, reducing our risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections, and addressing sexual dysfunction, pain and other concerns we may have about sex,” Kurpjuweit says. “Building and nurturing a healthy relationship can also increase sexual satisfaction and help support overall well-being.”

  • As people get older, nurturing their sexual selves and sexual health continues to be an important aspect of overall health. “But it’s not just about sex,” Kurpjuweit notes. “Sexuality can also involve intimacy, touch and love.”

The Health Unit provides many programs to support sexual and reproductive health in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The Health Unit can help couples who are planning to start a family or who are preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Confidential sexual health information, counselling and clinical services are also offered at Sexual Health Clinics in the area. To learn more, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1205, visit www.hkpr.on.ca, email info@hkpr.on.ca or text (705) 878-2723.

Free Quit Smoking Program Can Help People Give Up Tobacco

Media Release submitted by Bill Eekhof

If your New Year’s Resolution to quit tobacco has already gone up in smoke, a free program could still help you butt out for good in 2019.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is promoting a series of free quit-smoking support programs this month in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County. The Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (S.T.O.P.) Program offers resources and five weeks of free nicotine patches to participants at no cost.

In partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Health Unit is running the following S.T.O.P. sessions:

• In City of Kawartha Lakes on Thursday, February 21, at 10 am.

• In Northumberland County on Tuesday, February 26, at 9:30 am

To see if you qualify for S.T.O.P., call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2202.

 “If your goal this year is to quit smoking, the S.T.O.P. Program is a great way to get back on track. Giving up tobacco will improve your own health, while helping protect loved ones from deadly second-hand smoke,” says Karen Taylor, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit.

Research shows that patches and other nicotine replacement therapy can increase the odds of people becoming smoke-free. According to Taylor, the S.T.O.P. Program also has a proven track record in helping people quit tobacco for good.

Since its inception in 2005, the STOP Program has provided free smoking cessation medication and counselling support to over 100,000 Ontarians who wanted to quit smoking.

Family Literacy Day

Media Release Submitted by Kendra Fleming

While Family Literacy Day is officially being marked this Sunday (January 27), local families are being encouraged to make literacy part of their regular routine every day of the year.

Family Literacy Day will mark its 20th year in 2019. As befits this milestone anniversary, the theme of this year’s Family Literacy Day is ‘Take 20’ – which encourages parents and caregivers to take 20 minutes daily to read, sing, listen or play with children to help them develop strong literacy skills for life.

“Practising literacy together every day has tremendous benefits for both children and parents,” says Shelley Shaughnessy, a Public Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “When you ‘take 20,’ not only do you get to spend quality time together as a family, but you also help children develop strong literacy skills that are essential for them to reach their full potential in a changing and dynamic world.”

There are many fun ways that families can encourage literacy skills, without children even realizing they are learning. Reading a book at bedtime, visiting the library, playing a board game together, or telling knock-knock jokes while doing the dishes can all be options, Shaughnessy notes. Other activities to do together as a family include:

Organizing a ‘grocery hunt’ in which children search the store for all food items on the family grocery list.

Playing ‘home restaurant’ by getting children to create a menu for a meal by drawing food items or using grocery store flyers. To spice up mealtime, children can even take food orders too.

Taking part in an ‘animal dance’ by having family members stand in a circle and have each take a turn moving like an animal and say what they’re doing (e.g. ‘I hop like a bunny,’ ‘I stomp like a dinosaur’).

Local families can also check with their local library or EarlyON Child and Family Centre to see if there are special events planned in their community as part of Family Literacy Day.

Two organizations that can offer additional ideas and information for families are:

ABC Life Literacy Canada (www.familyliteracyday.ca) offers family literacy tips, activities and resources.

KidTalk (www.kidtalk.on.ca) is part of the Preschool Speech and Language Services program that covers Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The KidTalk website offers resources to promote speech skills, as well as information on speech and language milestones.

HKPR District Health Unit February Events

Submitted by Bill Eekhof

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has the following community events taking place in the City of Kawartha Lakes next month.


CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES: S.T.O.P. (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program, Tuesday, January 29, 1:30 pm. STOP Program supports smokers trying to quit by providing them with five weeks of nicotine patches at no cost. Smokers will also get educational material and other resources to help them in the quitting process. To see if you are eligible, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2202.

LINDSAY: No-Family Doctor Immunization Clinic, Tuesday, February 5, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. Free immunization clinics for families without a doctor. To book an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 7, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Monday, February 11, 10 am to Noon. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

PORT HOPE: HKPR Board of Health Meeting, Thursday, February 14, 9:30 am, Health Unit office (200 Rose Glen Rd.) in Port Hope. Regular monthly meeting of the Board of Health which oversees public health programs and services in the area. For more information, call: 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1466.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 14, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Men’s Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 14, 5-7 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This sexual health clinic provides men with testing/treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections and a chance to discuss their sexual health issues with a nurse. Appointments preferred, but walk-ins welcome. Call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205, for more information.

LINDSAY: Food Handler Course, Wednesday, February 20, 9 am to 4 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This course teaches participants how to handle and prepare food safely. Upon successful completion, participants receive a certificate (valid for a period of five years) indicating they are registered as a certified food handler. Cost is $40 per person. For more information and to confirm space availability, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES: S.T.O.P. (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program, Thursday, February 21, 10 am. STOP Program supports smokers trying to quit by providing them with five weeks of nicotine patches at no cost. Smokers will also get educational material and other resources to help them in the quitting process. To see if you are eligible, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2202.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 21, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Monday, February 25, 10 am to Noon. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 28, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

Wouldurather?

Media release submitted by Kendra Fleming

If your New Year’s Resolution to quit or cut back on cigarettes has already gone up in smoke, this contest can give you a cash incentive to get back on track.

 The Wouldurather contest (www.wouldurather.ca) is open to young people in Ontario between the ages of 18 to 29 years who regularly smoke, only smoke socially, have stopped smoking, or never smoked in their lives. As the contest name implies, participants are asked if they would rather reduce smoking or win cash prizes.

 “If you’re are looking for a reason to give up or reduce tobacco use, the Wouldurather contest is a great way to motivate yourself,” says Jennifer Robertson, a Public Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Wouldurather offers you a chance to win cash for quitting, but also provides plenty of support to help you along the way.”

 People only have until January 27, to register for the Wouldurather contest, which runs over six weeks (January 28 to March 10). There are four categories to enter:

  • Quit For Good: Quit smoking completely and have a chance to win $2,500.

  • Keep The Count: Cut smoking by half to be eligible to win $1,000.

  • Party Without The Smoke: Cut out smoking while drinking or partying for a chance to win $500.

  • Don't Start and Win: Stay smoke-free for an opportunity to win $250.

 People can register with a ‘buddy’ who can support them during the contest. Additional quit-smoking resources are also available for participants in the Wouldurather contest, including access to no-cost nicotine replacement therapy (patch, gum).

 Robertson says January is a perfect time to quit smoking, since National Non-Smoking Week(January 20-26) and Weedless Wednesday (January 23) both occur this month. Woulduather is organized by Leave the Pack Behind, a program funded by the Ontario government that helps young people become tobacco-free.

 For media inquiries, contact:

Jennifer Robertson, Public Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2302.

Health Unit Offers Top 10 Ways to Help People Cope with Holiday Stress

Press Release submitted by Bill Eekhof

Happy holidays? Some area residents may find that is far from the case.

Hectic schedules, plenty of demands, and oversized expectations that come with the holiday season can lead to feelings of stress and depression among some people. “There are many demands put on people at this time of year, including holiday parties, gift buying, family get-togethers, overexcited children, extra meal planning, and financial concerns,” says Marisa Curran, a Public Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “All of these added pressures can lead to frayed nerves, short fuses, damaged relationships and depression which has an impact on people’s health.”

Curran offers some practical steps to help area residents cope or reduce holiday stress and depression. “Trying to reduce stress before it takes an emotional toll can pay off,” she notes, “and you might find you start to enjoy the holidays.” To reduce stress, the Health Unit suggests the following:

• Show your feelings. If someone close to you has recently passed away or you’re unable to be with family over the holidays, realize it’s OK to show, and share, your grief and emotions.

• Reach out to others, especially if you are feeling lonely or isolated. Seeking out community or social events can offer support and companionship. Volunteering to help others can also lift your spirits and make you feel more connected.

• Be realistic about the holidays. Change your expectations about the festive season; it doesn’t have to be perfect. As family dynamics change, holiday traditions and rituals will too. Hold on to a few traditions and be open to new ones.

• Set aside differences with family and friends. Accept others as they are. If possible, set aside grievances until there is a more appropriate time to discuss. If necessary, limit time spent socializing with loved ones if these situations make you feel anxious or angry.

• Stick to a budget. Deciding how much you can afford to pay for gifts will reduce the financial strain – and related stress and anxiety – on your family. Happiness can’t be bought with gifts, so show your love in creative ways. Consider gifts of time, such as spending a day with a loved one or teaching a child a new hobby or skill.

• Plan for success. Set aside specific days to shop, bake, decorate, visit or do other activities. Plan meals in advance and line up what you’ll need to buy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to prepare for or clean up from parties and meals.

• Learn to say no. Agreeing to take part in a project or activity for which you have no time can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Set realistic expectations for what you can do over the holidays. Seek balance and try not to overdo it.

• Make time for the people who matter most in your life. Rather than rushing around, take a break by planning outdoor winter activities with your children or plan a date night with your partner.

• Don’t abandon your health. Eat healthy; you can still enjoy a holiday treat, while keeping in mind portion control. Get enough sleep and try to be active every day. Make time for yourself to recharge from the holiday bustle, such as taking a walk, listening to music or reading a book.

• Seek professional help if required. Despite your best efforts, you may still feel sad, anxious, stressed or unable to cope. If these feelings persist, speak to your health care provider or a mental health professional. Locally, the Canadian Mental Health Association (www.cmhahkpr.ca) provides a free, 24/7 professional crisis support line at 1-866-995-9933.