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Trauma-Informed Practice and the Opioid Crisis

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Research continues to show us that many people with substance use concerns, including problems with opioid use, have current or past experiences of trauma and violence.

Trauma-informed practice is a movement or way of working that recognizes the prevalence and impact of trauma on the lives of those accessing health care and social services.

I had the great opportunity to develop this new resource on trauma-informed practice and the opioid crisis with the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and a lovely group of service providers, researchers, and policy makers across BC.

While the main audience for the resource is service providers – primary health care providers, hospital emergency departments, first responders, shelter workers, clinicians in the mental health and substance use fields, outreach workers, peer support workers – it might also be of interest to anyone interested in learning more about different approaches to addressing the opioid crisis, including exploring the links between physical and psychological pain.

You can download the resource from the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health here.

Trauma Effects CEWH

 

Indigenous Approaches to FASD Prevention

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I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, and Canada FASD Research Network on an initiative responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call-to-Action #33.

Call-to-Action #33 focuses on culturally relevant approaches to preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder:

“We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to recognize as a high priority the need to address and prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and to develop, in collaboration with Aboriginal people, FASD preventive programs that can be delivered in a culturally appropriate manner.”

As one way of supporting discussion and action, these organizations have published a series of five booklets:

  1. Indigenous Mothering
  2. Wellness
  3. Reconciliation and Healing
  4. Community Action
  5. Brief Interventions with Girls and Women

These booklets are intended to be a starting place for individuals, organizations, and communities who are interested in learning how they can be involved in supporting FASD prevention in Indigenous communities in ways that are respectful of history, culturally aligned and supportive of Indigenous self-determination and cultural resurgence.

A few screenshots from inside the booklets below.

You can download the booklets from the websites of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, and the Canada FASD Research Network.

SisterSpace Overdose Prevention Site in Vancouver, BC

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SisterSpace is Canada’s first and only women-only overdose prevention site. This harm reduction program opened in May 2017 in response to the opioid crisis. It is located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and is run in partnership by Atira Women’s Resource Society, Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Housing, BC Women’s Hospital, and the Provincial Health Services Authority.

I had the opportunity to be involved with an evaluation of the program’s early beginnings and to learn about what’s working and what might be improved. The program is a great example of a harm reduction program that considers how women’s needs might differ from men’s and the role of a women-only space in creating a more accessible and safe program.

Learn more about the program in the infographic below and check out Atira’s website for links to the evaluation report and media coverage.

SisterSpace infographic_Sept 2017

Meet “The Love Doctor” on May 9th

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I’ll be sharing one of my newest little books The Love Doctor at the next EMMA Talks on May 9th, 2017. I’ll also have copies of Love into Water: Stories and Poems for All Ages for sale.

The next EMMA Talks features Jackie Wong and Astra Taylor and will be held at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre – Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards Building, 149 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC).

The evening begins at 7 pm for a pre-talk living room style reception, where there will be free light snacks, a cash bar, books for sale and some interactive art-making facilitated by Tin Can Studio.

Tickets are free. Check out the website for more details.

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Read A Little Book, Share A Little Book

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Thank you to everyone who attended EMMA Talks on Feb 28th – what a great night!

I was so happy to have the opportunity to share “Blue Feather” with the audience. EMMA Talks is all about sharing ideas and connecting with people and using  words and art to make change in the world – what a great crowd to share this particular book with.

Lots of people read their new little book and shared with me their responses and told me about who they intended to share their little book with next.

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Be sure to head over to the EMMA Talks website to see videos of the night’s speakers and check out their Instagram  for more photos from the night.

 

Pick up a copy of “Blue Feather,” a new little book at EMMA Talks, February 28, 2017

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Check out the next EMMA Talks on February 28, 2017 at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre – Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (SFU Woodwards Building, 149 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC).

I’ll be sharing a brand new little book called “Blue Feather” as well as other books.

The evening starts at 6 pm for a pre-talk living room style reception, where there will be free light snacks, a cash bar, and some interactive art-making facilitated by Tin Can Studio.

The talks start at 7pm and feature Kinnie Starr & Andrea Warner.

Tickets are free. Check out the website for more details. Hope to see you there!

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“Rad Families: A Celebration” 50% off until the end of February

PM Press is selling Rad Families: A Celebration for 50% off until the end of February. Click here for more info and the coupon code.

Editor and Rad Dad Tomas Moniz will be on a West Coast book tour throughout February and March 2017. Check here to see if he’ll be in your city. Info about the Vancouver event below.

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