North Okanagan Social Planning Council receives $100,000

Money to be used to combat opioid crisis

Annette Sharkey has written innumerable grant applications.

But, until recently, the executive director of the Social Planning Council of North Okanagan had never written a grant to save a life.

Vernon will be one of 16 communities awarded $100,000 to set up community action teams in regards to the opioid crisis.

The cash is provided by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, Community Action Initiative and the Overdose Emergency Response Centre.

“Our goal is to stop people from dying in our community,” said Sharkey in explaining to Vernon council Monday that the funds will be used to reduce the number of overdose deaths in Vernon.

Through May 31, Interior Health reports there have been 10 illicit drug deaths in Vernon. There were 22 such deaths in 2017.

RELATED: Vernon opioid crisis numbers rising

The Social Planning Council is the host agency for the funding while Partners in Action is the umbrella committee.

RELATED: Survey aids Social Planning Council

“One of the first actions will be to develop a communications plan and include business and community leaders as we know that there are concerns,” said Sharkey.

Funding will also be used to include community mapping and conduct peer and cultural audits.

“This is to better understand how our current programs and services are working, and what changes need to be made to better serve people and, ultimately, save more lives,” said Sharkey.

Partners in Action will move forward with other action teams as appropriate. As an example, Sharkey said an action team will target the mostly male, ‘hidden’ opioid users.

“This could be someone you work with, play soccer or baseball with or see regularly at the gym,” she said. “We plan to target bars, restaurants, gyms, workplaces and airports to provide education and supports to this target population.”

The project will also include the development of a harm reduction strategy of which overdose prevention sites are only one part. Treatment and recovery will also be included.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Central Okanagan emergency support volunteers sought

Volunteers needed in Lake Country area

UBC Okanagan hosts gala evening of fun, art and entertainment

The annual event is celebrating its 17th anniversary

Okanagan Military Tattoo returns

Performances July 28 and July 28

Rockets topple Prince Albert Raiders

The Kelowna Rockets defeated the Raiders Saturday night

Heat couldn’t clip Thunderbird’s wings

The Thunderbirds defeated the Heat Saturday night and continued winning streak

Find me my furever home: Mittens and Boots

Meet Mittens and Boots who are available for adoption at the Kelowna BC SPCA

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Most Read