#TorontoPublicHealth, #TPH, #anti-stigmacampaignondruguse; #Dr.EileendeVilla; #StopOverdoseB.C.campaign; #JudyDarcy
Toronto, May 19 (Canadian-Media): Toronto Public Health (TPH) launched May 18 a new campaign intended to help start conversations about substance use as an important step in addressing the overdose crisis in Toronto, media reports said.
Dr. Eileen de Villa. Image credit: Twitter handle
According to the most recent estimates of the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario revealed 187 deaths in Toronto, which is more than double the number of deaths over the same time period in 2016
TPH requests us to think of people who take drugs are our friends, family members, and coworkers and whould be given a humanitarian consideration.
"We need to recognize that people from all walks of life take drugs, yet many face significant stigma from their family, friends and society at large. The impact of this stigma is profound and is contributing to the overdose crisis," said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto. "Talking to someone close to you about substance use can be difficult but it could also be the most important conversation you will ever have. This campaign will help promote this message."
This campaign stresses that reducing stigma is critical to saving lives and focuses people's beliefs to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with drug use by changing thier language to support people in a compassionate and respectful way.
British Columbia's Stop Overdose B.C. campaign launched by the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions earlier this year was adapted by the Toronto Public Health for its present campaign
"The overdose crisis knows no boundaries. It is international in scope and requires everyone to work together, to share knowledge and resources in order to address the devastating impact on individuals and families,” said B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy. “We are very pleased to share the campaign and its powerful message to address stigma and build support for an effective response.”
"We want people to feel valued, supported and reassured that someone will be there to respond if they reach out for help. We know that more work is needed on many different fronts to address this very serious health issue and this is one step in the way forward," added Dr. de Villa.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)