Sask organizations collaborate on training to safely support people who use substances
Prairie Harm Reduction, Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health and Saskatchewan Polytechnic collaborate on building resources and offering training to frontline workers
December 21, 2022 – Prairie Harm Reduction, Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic have received $1.4 million in federal funding to address the stigma, discrimination and racism experienced by people who use substances in Saskatchewan and seek help from frontline care workers.
The five-year project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The goal is to develop and distribute evidence-based, culturally safe and harm reductionist resources and training for care providers. These tools will be free for frontline workers.
The project aims to reduce stigma for people who use substances, improve interactions with care providers and keep both care providers and clientele safe. The three organizations will create resources, which will be free to access online and applicable to health care, social and human services, and community-based organizations. These resources will also be used by SASWH, PHR and Sask Polytech to train frontline health care workers already employed in Saskatchewan and students preparing for their future careers.
"Prairie Harm Reduction is excited to be partnered with SASWH and Sask Polytech on this innovative project" says Kayla DeMong, Prairie Harm Reduction executive director.
“SASWH is pleased to be a partner in this collaborative and excited to work with others to build additional resources that support health and safety for those who use substances and for those who provide care,” says Sandra Cripps, SASWH CEO.
“We are excited to work on this important project with Prairie Harm Reduction and the Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Sask Polytech president and CEO. “This project will strengthen the capacity of care and service providers to offer respectful and non-judgemental support for people who use substances in Saskatchewan.”
The resources and training are designed to strengthen capacity of care and service providers to provide culturally safe and stigma-free prevention, testing, treatment and care services. The training resources will increase providers’ knowledge on issues experienced by people who use substances, facilitate changes in provider attitudes, and provide tools to use when engaging with people who use substances in day-to-day and crisis interactions. The first phase of the five-year project includes establishing an advisory committee, engaging an evaluator, completing an environmental scan and conducting focus groups throughout the province.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic is signatory to the SDG Accord. Sustainable Development Goal alignment is one of the ways Sask Polytech is leading the rise of polytechnic education.