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Cities get funding to battle opioid crisis

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy

Up to $3.5 million in funding was announced by Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, at the Union of BC Municipalities convention, for communities to find local solutions to the overdose crisis.

“From day one, we recognized that it is people on the ground, on the front lines of the overdose crisis who know best what works in their communities, large and small,” said Darcy, in a news release. “By investing in local solutions, we are coming together as a province to reduce harm, fight stigma and support people on their own pathway to healing and hope.”

Up to $50,000 in grant funding for community projects is available through the Community Wellness and Harm Reduction Grant program administered by the Community Action Initiative. Examples of eligible projects include community dialogues, needle distribution and recovery programs, and projects that reduce stigma and help connect people to health-care services.

In addition to grant funding, 35 communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis will receive up to $150,000 in funding for on-the-ground community action teams (CATs) to escalate local, integrated planning and strategies in response to the overdose crisis. Nineteen CATs are in their second year of operation and 16 new CATs are being established throughout B.C. based on updated overdose data and community need.

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