Helen Jennens, Kelowna, BC
Helen retired from the financial industry after the death of her eldest son Rian. Rian died in August of 2011 from a prescription drug overdose post motor cycle accident. Subsequent to Rian's death, Helen initiated an investigation with both the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the College of BC Pharmacists. Her intent was to shed light on the liberal and sometimes careless prescribing of narcotics and her belief that Pharmanet (a province wide network that links all BC pharmacies and medications dispensed to an individual) was a good tool and had the potential to address the overuse of opioids.
January of 2016, Helen's second son Tyler died of a fentanyl, disguised as heroin overdose. In February Helen was invited to participate in a collaborative as "a mother with life experience." As a member of this collaborative, Helen has spoken at numerous events about drug abuse and it's link to mental health.
After many years of hard work and the amazing dedication of it's members, the collaborative known as Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use ( CYMHSU), applied for and was successful in acquiring the approval and government funding to open a fully integrated health services hub in Kelowna. This hub will provide "real time" access to the care needed to deal with child and youth mental health and substance abuse issues.