Sober(er) for October: A Wellness Champion Shares His Story of Abstinence



A message from Richard Jock, Interim Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Health AuthorityRichard-Jock-GWX.jpg

We're now two weeks into the FNHA's Sober(er) for October initiative​, and I commend those of you who've chosen to join us in reducing or quitting using substances this month – as well as those of you who were already abstaining. I trust that you are feeling healthier for it! I encourage all to keep going to reap the benefits of moderation or abstinence.

Alcohol is not great for us, even in small doses. One result of the pandemic is that liquor sales are up, including in BC. We understand that this is a trying time and that we are all finding ways to cope. The pandemic is more of a marathon than a sprint, however, so we will need to find ways that work in the longer term, including healthy outlets and options for maintaining our wellness.

In my own life, it has been around 23 years since I decided to abstain from alcohol, and to continue not using other substances. The decision to abstain from alcohol has had immeasurable benefits not only to my health, but to my personal and professional growth. From my conversations with community leaders, this issue remains the number one priority for communities, and therefore this lifestyle choice is an important alignment and contribution.

Again, I encourage everyone who is participating in Sober(er) for October to see it through! Whether you've chosen to reduce your alcohol consumption or abstain from alcohol entirely, keep at it and focus on the advantages of your decision. You might be so pleased with your results that this month-long challenge could lead to the continuation of a reduced-​ or no-alcohol lifestyle.

I wish you and your family health and wellness this fall season. Keep on following all public health recommendations for staying healthy and strong despite the pandemic. We are already strong and resilient people, and by working together we will come through this challenge more resilient than ever. Remember as well that we are all role models…​

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