Greater St. Albert holds Vaping info night at MCHS

by Lucie Roy

The Greater St. Albert Catholic School Division (GSACRD) Voice (Mental Health Capacity Building Initiative), in association with the MCHS School Council, presented Vaping 101- Understanding the Basics at Morinville Community High School on Tuesday night for Morinville and area parents.

Attendess were told, E-cigarettes, electronic devices that vaporize flavoured liquids, including those that contain nicotine, originally looked like cigarettes but now come in many shapes and sizes ranging from pen-sized devices to small boxes called mods. There are more than 8000 flavours available on the market today.

The evening started with a talk from the St. Albert Catholic School Division’s Addiction Counsellor, Megan Milne, who specializes in youth addiction and forensic mental health.

Milne spoke on the research around electronic cigarettes (vapes) and how the product is relatively new and constantly evolving. Both the research and the product will continue to evolve, which Milne said could result in her information becoming invalid in the future.

The presentation included a PowerPoint and two YouTube videos, Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping and It’s Not About the Nail.

The topics discussed covered vaping basics, risk factors versus protective factors, signs of problematic use in terms of mental health, physical health and behaviour, treatment strategies, and what not to do.

Milne’s discussion discussed relationships between parent and child and numerous programs for youth from ages 12-18 years of age, including the one day Youth Addiction, 10-day stabilization program, the 84-day residential program in Edmonton.

The evening began with greetings by Lauren Chow, BSc, Program Manager of Mental Health Capacity Building (MHCB) Initiative: Legal and Morinville, that is in the schools with St Albert School Division.

Chow said this was their first information night at MCHS and also introduced her team of Wellness Coaches from Primeau, Morinville Community High School (MCHS), Notre Dame and Legal.

Some posters on the prevention of vaping created by Grade 9 students during National Addictions Awareness Week at the end of November were also on display during the event.

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