Stronger Together Community Dialogue Series
Navigating the Personal Impacts of Substance Use Family-led dialogues across British Columbia.
Too many families and communities have been personally and tragically affected by the opioid overdose crisis in Canada. In response to the unsupported and unresolved challenges experienced by families affected by substance use, Stronger Together provided a series of dialogue and learning sessions for families and allies impacted by substance use throughout BC. Community knowledge will be documented and used to inform substance use service planning, as well as research directions, in British Columbia.
In partnership with Moms Stop the Harm, Parents Forever, From Grief to Action, and the five regional Health Authorities, Stronger Together sessions were hosted in sevent key communities across BC from November 2018 - December 2019. With thanks to the Community Action Initiative and the City of Vancouver for funding.
This project was funded by the Community Action Initiative (CAI) and Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC) Innovation fund and the City of Vancouver. Community visits and meetings occurred November 2018 - December 2019.
Six sessions were held in each community, including:
Four dialogue sessions
The 2.5-hour dialogue sessions were focus groups to identify local challenges and support needs, and explore systemic solutions to addressing gaps in substance use care. Community knowledge will be used to inform health service planning, delivery, and research directions.
- Families whose loved ones are actively using
- Families who have lost a loved one to substance use
- Indigenous families affected by substance use
- Service providers interfacing with families affected by substance use
Two learning sessions
The one-day learning sessions were designed for individuals and professionals who wished to learn how to facilitate support groups for families affected by substance use. Sessions reviewed aspects of traumatic loss or active substance use, different types of support groups, safety and containment, what it means to be trauma-informed, how to address power dynamics within the group, how to interview members, and more. Participants were provided with activity examples and facilitator resources.
- Grief & Loss Support Group Facilitator’s Learning Session for people interested in establishing and running support groups for families affected by grief and loss from a drug-related death
- Family Support Group Facilitator’s Learning Session for people interested in establishing and running support groups for families who are coping with their loved one’s addiction
Completed Community Visits:
Victoria - visits completed November 28 - December 1, 2018. Click here for the final report.
Surrey - visits completed March 5 - 9, 2019. Click here for the final report.
Powell River – visits completed April 3-6, 2019. Click here for the final report.
Fort St. John – visits completed May 8-11, 2019. Click here for the final report.
Prince George - visits completed May 13-16, 2019. Click here for the final report.
Mission Indigenous Families - visits completed September 9-11, 2019. Final report to be posted here.
Campbell River - visits completed September 30 - October 3, 2019. Final report to be posted here.
Syilx Nation - visits completed November 21-22, 2019. Final report to be posted here.
Vancouver - visits completed December, 2019. Final report to be posted here.
Gone Too Soon Grief Handbook
The BC Bereavement Helpline is committed to supporting anyone in BC who is grieving the loss of a loved one due to substance use. We are currently in the process of developing new programs to support those bereaved by substance use and we hope to get funding soon.
The BC Centre on Substance Use has developed a very helpful grief guidebook entitled Gone Too Soon.
The Helpline works to have the most updated information on grief support groups specific to substance use. If you are seeking help our support due to the loss of a loved one, please call us at 604-738-9950 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where we may be able to provide you the most recent programs and resources.
The G.A.P. Network Grief and Addiction Support Resource List - A resource list with emphasis on social media communities, compiled by individuals who have lost loved ones to drug overdose.