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Free ‘Holding Hope’ talks aim to help South Asian families struggling with substance use

Delivered in Punjabi, the project launched Tuesday evening at City Centre Library
Kamaljit Jugpal is the executive director of Surrey-based Mukti Society, which co-presents the “Holding Hope” sessions Tuesdays at City Centre Library until Oct. 18. (Submitted photo)

South Asian families who have a loved one impacted by substance use can get help during an eight-week event series at Surrey’s City Centre Library.

Delivered in Punjabi, the “Holding Hope” pilot project aims to act as a bridge to resources and break barriers to accessing support.

The free evening sessions, which kicked off Tuesday (Aug. 30) and continue until Oct. 18, are facilitated by Kamaljit Jugpal, executive director of Mukti Society, in partnership with the Surrey Overdose Response Community Action Team.

The goal is to create a safe space to learn, connect, share and find support.

Jugpal struggled with mental health and addiction for half of his life and will be sharing his story, along with others from the South Asian community. Attendees will also learn about substance use resources in Surrey, get connected to services and learn from one another.

“There seems to be barriers that families face when it comes to accessing community resources,” Jugpal explained. “For instance, language can be a barrier when trying to access services only available in English. In many cases, we’re hearing families don’t know where to even begin.”

No registration is required to attend the sessions, held Tuesdays from 6 to 7:45 p.m. at City Centre Library (10350 University Dr., Surrey, Room 418), until Oct 18. Attendees can email Jugpal at for more information.

On the website, Surrey-based Mukti Society is described as “a charity dedicated to providing inclusive, accessible services to those facing challenges related to mental health, substance use and criminal justice involvement with a focus on serving vulnerable youth and those from the Indo-Canadian community.”

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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