Image: Facebook/Vancouver Canucks Image: Facebook/Vancouver Canucks

Canucks help fight stigma of addiction in new public awareness campaign

The Vancouver Canucks hockey team and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions are joining together to combat stigma around substance use

The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks are helping launch a public awareness campaign to fight the stigma associated with substance abuse at a time when British Columbia is mired in an overdose crisis.

The provincial government’s campaign includes messages that will be broadcast on television, shown online, on social media and on billboards.

The campaign will be highlighted at Canucks home games and at other events at Rogers Arena, such as concerts, until June.

Judy Darcy, the minister of mental health and addictions, says the stigma surrounding addiction is leading to deaths in the province.

The public awareness campaign shows addiction can affect anyone and it asks people to stop seeing addiction as a “moral failure” and instead as a health issue.

British Columbia declared a public health emergency in 2016 because of the overdose epidemic.

Related: Canucks Playroom offers fun space for sick kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Related: Nine suspected fatal overdoses over five days

The latest figures from the BC Coroners Service recorded 1,208 fatal overdoses between January and October last year.

The powerful opioid fentanyl was detected in 999 of the confirmed and suspected deaths during that time, an increase of 136 per cent from the same period in 2016.

“Addiction is often a response to deep pain or trauma, and stigma drives our loved ones to act and live in dark silence,” Darcy said Monday in a statement. “We need to knock down the walls of silence and encourage courageous conversations between friends, family and co-workers struggling with substance use, so they feel supported in seeking treatment and recovery.”

Kirk McLean, a retired Canucks goaltender, said people are losing family members, friends and neighbours.

“It’s been absolutely devastating to watch this crisis unfold right in our backyard,” he said in a news release.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Update: Structure fire reported in Kelowna industrial area put out

A structure fire was reported just after 3:30 p.m. off Sexsmith Road

Kelowna e-scooter company foils downtown robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to Kelowna

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

Kootnekoff: It’s my strata, and I’ll smoke if I want to (Part 2)

The final part of a legal battle between two strata residents and second-hand smoke

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Letter: Definition issues raised about being Canadian

To the editor: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on U.S.… Continue reading

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Letter: More sani-dumps needed at camps

To the editor: Have you ever tried to book a campsite in… Continue reading

Letter: Bernier a Liberal Trojan horse

To the editor: When Maxime Bernier launched his PPC, he was flat… Continue reading

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

Most Read