Vernon and Kelowna are two of 18 communities where the provincial government will be setting up a Community Action Team to address the opiod crisis.
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy, announced 1 and a half million dollars is to be spent on the teams.
Each community will get up to 100 thousand dollars, focussing on four essential tasks.
“One: expanding harm reduction services in the community. Two:increasing availability of naloxone. Three: addressing the unsafe drug supply and perhaps most importantly, working proactively to connect people with support services with treatment and options of recovery.”
She calls the teams boots on the ground..
” The role of the Community Action Teams is to intervene early to provide support to people at risk of overdose before it’s too late. So, it’s not just reactive, it’s proactive. It’s trying to get out before hand and identify people who are most at risk.”
Darcy calls it an “all-of-province” approach.
“Community Action Teams will include representation from municipal government, indigenous partners, first responders-meaning police, fire and ambulance-front line community agencies, health authorities, divisions of family practice, other health care professionals.”
“They will also be working with local ministry offices dealing with issues like housing and homelessness, children and families and poverty reduction because we need to be working to address those social conditions and social factors that play such a large role.”
Another $1.5 million will be available to all B.C. communities, through a Community Crisis Response Grants application process.
For more information on the Community Crisis Innovation Fund and how the money will be distributed, you can visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/overdose/how-the-province-is-responding.