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

Motionball hosts first-ever university marathon of sport at UBC Okanagan

Motionball is a national non-profit that raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympics

Annual SunRype Okanagan Marathon celebrates 25 years

The marathon took over downtown Kelowna and features runners from across the globe

Rain in forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap region

Mixed bag of clouds, sun and showers forecast for the week ahead

PPC party discredits its former Kelowna-Lake Country president’s past accusations of racism

Daniel Joseph left the party in March and is now an independent candidate in the riding

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Summerland council agrees to 30-year lease with steam railway

Tourist train has been operating as an attraction in Summerland since 1995

Speeding a concern on Summerland streets

Police observe fast motorists in town and on Highway 97

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

Most Read