Community forums: Participated in community forums on substance use services, harm reduction, stigma reduction and compassion.
Events: Hosted and/or participated multiple community events to raise awareness of the overdose crisis, including the Women’s Health Fair in Agassiz/Harrison.
Business outreach: Outreach to local businesses in Hope, Agassiz, Harrison and other communities to inform them on how they can help with overdose prevention, needle recovery, and engaging with individuals on the street through work with businesses and business improvement associations.
Addictions Task Team: In Chilliwack, a task team was formed to promote prevention, stigma reduction, and community-based opioid crisis response. This team is part of the Community Healthy Partnerships table and along with Fraser Health, includes participation from the City of Chilliwack, RCMP, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Division of Family Practice, Pacific Community Resources Society, Ruth and Naomi’s Mission and a community member at large.
Street Outreach Network: In Chilliwack, an outreach network was developed to enhance support and connect with frontline staff impacted by the overdose crisis. Coordinated by Fraser Health, the participants include Pacific Community Resources Society, RCMP, Griffin Security, Ann Davis Transition Society, Wilma’s House (Xolhemet Society), Ruth and Naomi’s Mission, Salvation Army, Chilliwack Community Services and Mamele’awt Qweesome and To’o Housing Society.
Peer engagement: Two peer engagement projects have been initiated involving stigma reduction and peer-led research. Projects include funding support to hire 5-12 people to engage with 100 of their peers and 100 community members.
Community outreach: Outreach to Hope Health Unit and Agassiz Youth Centre, Hope and Area Transition Society, and Thunderbird Motel to share information on the public health emergency, as well as mental health and substance use programs available.
Education, Training and Public Awareness Campaigns
Naloxone training: Naloxone training is available through Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz public health units, as well as the Pacific Community Resource Society Mobile Health Van. Fraser Health has also trained twelve sites in Chilliwack and more in the surrounding communities that provide social services, health services, housing and shelter to administer naloxone and reverse overdose.
Take Home Naloxone kits and harm reduction supplies: Take Home Naloxone kits and harm reduction supplies are available at Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope public health units, community mental health centres and Pacific Community Resources Society Mobile Health Van. In Chilliwack, harm reduction supplies are available at Pacific Community Resource society, which includes Chilliwack Health and House Centre and Mobile Outreach.
Safe sharps disposal: Sharps disposal services are available Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz public health units.
Safe sharps recovery: In Chilliwack, Pacific Community Resource Society and Griffin Security undertake regular sweeps of key locations in order to identify and safely dispose of any discarded sharps. In Chilliwack, Hope, Kent and Agassiz, community members who find discarded sharps may contact Pacific Community Resources Society Mobile Health Van to arrange collection.
Surge outreach: Monthly, on weeks when income assistance cheques are issued and during periodic surges in overdose volumes, public health nurses and Mental Health and Substance Use clinicians conduct outreach to areas with high volume of overdoses to distribute Take Home Naloxone, intervene in overdoses, assess and refer people to treatment.
Opioid Agonist Treatment clinics: Improved access to first line treatment for opioid addiction (medications like Suboxone and methadone) with a clinic opening in Chilliwack in October.
Outpatient substance use programs: Provided through a contracted agency in each community, outpatient substance use programs include school-based prevention services, individual and group counselling, family support, psycho-education and opioid agonist treatment.
Substance Use Treatment Beds: Increased access to treatment by opening 147 new substance use treatment beds throughout the region, for a total of 465. In addition, Fraser Health has access to 32 beds at Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addictions and 5 at Heartwood Centre for Women in Vancouver. The 465 beds are a combination of sobering centre mats, withdrawal management, short-term access to recovery, stabilization and transitional living residence and intensive residential treatment beds. These services include specialized support for Indigenous men and women, young men and women ages 19 to 24, and women (including pregnant women). The following services are located in Agassiz and Chilliwack:
- Intensive residential treatment (IRT) beds: 165 IRT beds for adults (including 4 for youth and 22 for young adults 19-24 years old) in five owned and operated/contracted programs. Of these beds, 12 IRT beds are located in Chilliwack.
- Stabilization and Transitional Living Residences (STLR): 219 beds, including 4 for youth, for individuals post-detox that require additional support. Of these beds, 23 are in Agassiz.
- Short-term Transitional Access to Recovery (STAR): 26 STAR recovery beds for people 19 years and older who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness due to substance misuse. Of these beds, 2 are located in Agassiz.
Riverstone Home/Mobile Detox/Daytox: Medically supported residential and home services for people in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Agassiz, Hope and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows communities.
Outreach team: The Chilliwack outreach team provides services seven days a week, 12 hours per day. The team provides services to people with serious mental health or substances use concerns that require intensive outreach. We are also currently recruiting for a new outreach position for Indigenous people with mental health and substance use issues in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority. In addition, the team works with Chilliwack General Hospital’s emergency department and inpatient units to identify patients with substance use needs who can be safely discharged and be better served in a community setting.