Addiction & Mental Health
It’s complicated. It’s multifaceted. It’s critical. But how are we supporting and caring for people struggling with their mental health?
Collaborating for Mental Health
Feelings of isolation and hopelessness are a reality for many people battling mental illness, and those feelings can be exacerbated in rural and remote areas with limited access to services. In an effort to address this challenge and engage communities in promoting positive mental health and overall wellness, Eastern Health established the Community Coalition for Mental Health & Wellness.
Critical Help Through Harm Reduction
Tree Walsh Coordinator, SWAP
As other parts of Canada and the US struggle to tackle an opioid crisis, make no mistake, drug addiction is a major health issue in this province as well – last year there were 23 deaths from opioid overdoses, but that’s just the surface. For so many people, addiction doesn’t begin the way it does in the movies, with parties and risky behaviour. It starts with real pain and mental anguish, and drugs provide legitimate relief. The problem begins when what’s prescribed isn’t working anymore and they start increasing their own dosage, injecting, and turning to street drugs, which could contain other dangerous drugs they don’t even know are in there.
Access to new needles and equipment, as well as naloxone kits is imperative. If a drug user doesn’t have access to new supplies, it doesn’t mean they’re not going to use drugs, it means they’re going to do it and risk their health by reusing old supplies, or sharing someone else’s, putting them at even greater risk. Last year alone SWAP gave out over 740,000 needles to people across the province, including over 130,000 mailed out to communities outside of our base locations in St. John’s and Corner Brook.