We launched 'Compassion Matters', a series of stories about compassion in the face of the overdose crisis, as told by some of those most impacted by the crisis.
As illicit drug deaths continue to occur in all sectors of our communities, Fraser Health continues to respond with a multi-pronged approach including overdose awareness and education; increasing access to naloxone; and working with municipal and community partners on overdose response and prevention.
As part of increasing overdose awareness and education, we are addressing substance use-related stigma. Stigma is one of the most significant barriers for people in seeking treatment and other health care services. People with substance use problems often have deep emotional and/or physiological pain. Their problematic use of drugs and alcohol are often tools they use to cope with their pain. Taking a compassionate approach when caring for individuals with substance use issues can have a significant positive impact on their ability to seek treatment and achieve improved health outcomes.
This is why we are excited to be launching the Compassion Matters awareness campaign this week. This initial phase will run March 13-31 and aims at preventing and reducing stigma by highlighting real-life examples of compassion through stories and photos of people who use drugs and the people who care for them.
- Thierry, a young man who experienced several overdoses before reaching his turning point;
- Dave and Trevor, two law enforcement officers who work on 135A St., a Surrey neighbourhood heavily impacted by the overdose crisis;
- Janet, a nurse practitioner working with citizens of Maple Ridge who experience homelessness and problematic substance use.
Be sure to read the stories at fraserhealth.ca/compassion and follow our Compassion Matters campaign by ‘liking’ and following Fraser Health on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ and sharing these stories.