Peterborough-Kawartha – Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced today more than $1.9 million in funding over the next three years to the Peterborough Police Service. Through this funding, people who use drugs and have experienced an overdose will be connected to newly-created community-based outreach and support services.
As part of this pilot project, the Peterborough Police Service has created a collaborative community based mobile outreach team to increase the capacity and options available to first responders to refer people who have experienced an overdose. This new team will help divert people who use drugs away from the criminal justice system and into supportive to harm reduction, peer support, health and social services.
Additionally, this initiative will increase access to culturally appropriate services for Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQ2+ populations, youth, women, and those living with HIV through partnerships with other organizations such as Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre and PARN.
The Government of Canada is committed to working with partners, peer workers, people with lived and living experience and other stakeholders to ensure Canadians receive the support they need to reduce the harms related to substance use.
In June, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough received $1.2 million over four years from the Government of Canada for a peer-to-peer harm reduction and recovery program.
“Too many were living in crisis before COVID. Mental health challenges, problematic substance use, and the added pressures of self isolation have increased the deaths and tragedies in our community. Problematic substance use is a public health issue. Caring professionals in our community have asked for additional resources to help them with their important work. This investment will create over seven positions to allow coordination among essential frontline workers, so those who need the help are redirected from criminal justice system to harm reduction, peer support, health and social services. There is much more to be done. Today is a positive step forward.”
-Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha
"This is an excellent example applying the principals of community based policing to support multi-sector collaboration. We would like to thank Health Canada for funding this important pilot project creating a community based response team which includes a community-based paramedic, complex case managers for addictions, and peer outreach workers. A continuum of responses, tools, services and programs is vital addressing the complex issues surrounding the opioid/drug poisoning/overdose crisis. This pilot project is a critical addition to the County and City of Peterborough’s efforts."
-Peter Williams, Peterborough Police Services, Community Development and Engagement Coordinator
“We know that opioid related overdoses and deaths can be prevented. All levels of government need to work together to address this public health crisis.”
-Diane Therrien, Mayor, City of Peterborough
“On behalf of the residents of Peterborough County we are so very pleased to be a part of this community based approach to addressing the opioid crisis in the Peterborough area. We have seen the impacts of this tragic crisis we are in and the federal funding in support of this collaborative pilot program is very much needed and very much appreciated.”
-J. Murray Jones, Warden, County of Peterborough