The Surrey Substance Use Awareness Team was at Central City Mall recently

The Surrey Substance Use Awareness Team was at Central City Mall recently

Week of awareness kicks off at White Rock Farmers’ Market

Residents challenged to change habits during Substance Use Awareness Week.

The City of Surrey has teamed up with the Surrey Substance Use Awareness Team (SUAT) to encourage residents to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves, and learn more about substance use and addiction issues.

The campaign is a part of Substance Use Awareness Week – set for May 24-30 – and aims to promote the safe use of legal substances, gambling and Internet games.

According to organizing committee member Amita Daniels, the SUAT is made up of more than a dozen groups from around Surrey that come together to “get the community engaged in dialogue, in support and information sharing,” on issues of substance use and abuse.

Substance Use Awareness Week will kick off at the White Rock Farmers’ Market this Sunday, where team members will be on hand distributing information and answering questions about resources around the community.

The group will also be signing people up for the Habit Change Challenge, which will task participants with reducing or eliminating a habit – such as reducing alcohol or caffeine intake, or pledging to eat more vegetables – to improve their health and lifestyle.

“It’s a way of having people stop and think, if I have a habit of doing things, what does it actually take to change it?” Daniels explained.

Registered participants will post updates on their progress to social media throughout the week, and prizes are up for grabs for those who take part.

In addition to launching at the farmers’ market, the SUAT will be out in force throughout next week, talking to residents at Central City Mall and hosting a first responder workshop at Surrey City Hall.

The Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of B.C. – which Daniels represents on the SUAT – will hold an event to wrap up Substance Use Awareness Week on May 30, at the Newton Recreation Centre.

Called Mamook Kuna Mokst, the event will include traditional teachings, dance, feasting and a talking circle, and will give the public the opportunity to meet some counsellors, and learn more about healthy living.

To find more about the Habit Change Challenge, visit www.surrey.ca/habitchange