Minder App

$15m funding to help people living with addiction, substances use

eAwaz Health

Ottawa – The Government of Canada has announced over $15 million in funding for 24 innovative community-led projects across Canada. These projects will help support people living with an addiction or who use substances, as well as respond to the overdose crisis and address harms related to substance use and the toxic illegal drug supply. This funding will help provide better access to peer support and capacity-building projects, and support those disproportionately affected by addiction and substance use or who face barriers accessing services, including women and youth.

Funding for these community-led projects is provided through the Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP), which supports evidence-informed and innovative initiatives across a range of interventions—health promotion, prevention, harm reduction and treatment—involving a broad range of substances. The full list of other SUAP funded projects across Canada is available here.

ALBERTA (total of $672,288)

Integrated Mobile Drug Checking and Peer Navigation Pilot
Alberta Alliance Who Educates and Advocates Responsibly Society – Calgary, AB
$672,288 over 17 months to enhance community outreach and eventually establish an accessible peer-led drug checking service with wraparound health supports in Calgary. Once operational, this pilot will help people who use drugs identify the composition of the drugs they possess. All from one mobile site, people who are using drugs will then have access to information needed to help reduce their risks of overdose as well as access peer support and traditional clinical supports. The pilot will focus on individuals whose needs continue to be unmet by existing services and who are at increased risk of overdose.

BRITISH COLUMBIA (total of $6,706,069)

Dyadic Care for Maternal and Child Health: An evaluation of healthcare services for women with opioid use disorder and the long-term health outcomes of their children
Simon Fraser University – Burnaby, BC
$377,788 over 16 months to evaluate the quality, accessibility, culturally appropriateness and safety of services for women living with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and their children in British Columbia. This project will strengthen the clinical evidence-base for the treatment of perinatal OUD as well as the association between the health of mothers with OUD and the long-term health outcomes of their children.

Youth Substance Use Prevention and Intervention Project
Alberni Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Services Society – Port Alberni, BC
$292,178 over 13 months to deliver prevention programming and intervention services for 450 youth aged 10 to 22, their parents and local community service providers in Port Alberni and on the west coast of Vancouver Island, including Tofino and Ucluelet. Services will include social and recreational programming such as resiliency and overdose prevention workshops for youth, schools, service providers, parents, and caregivers. It will also include health promotion and harm reduction counseling services and peer support training for people with lived experiences of substance use.

An Integrated Program of Contingency Management and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Individuals with Stimulant Use Disorders
Providence Health Care Research Institute Trust,
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS – Vancouver, BC
$500,645 over 16 months to implement and evaluate the centre’s contingency management (CM) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programs in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. CM involves awarding gift cards or vouchers of escalating value for meeting a range of recovery goals. CBT helps participants reorder the way they think about their substance use and helps them develop strategies to avoid triggers and manage cravings. This program supports people struggling with stimulant use who are seeking help to reduce or stop using stimulant drugs, like methamphetamine or cocaine.

Culture as Harm Reduction Knowledge Bundles: Indigenous-Led National KTE Initiative
Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation – Vancouver, BC
$938,175 to extend this project for a year and increase capacity-building training. This will help the delivery of culturally-relevant harm reduction services for Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations in urban and semi-urban communities. The organization is also creating a national community of practice on harm reduction for Indigenous people, including knowledge products and resources. The project is building off a current Canadian Institute for Health Research funded research project on COVID-19, harm reduction for Indigenous people and resources to address gaps in services. The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation will also implement a Corporate Canada and Overdose Crisis strategy to engage the Canadian business community in addressing the crisis.

Younger Minds: Adaptation, Implementation, and Evaluation of the Minder App
The University of British Columbia – Vancouver, BC
$1,380,237 over 18 months to offer the University of British Columbia’s current e-intervention application Minder to secondary students across British Columbia. The app, originally developed for university students, provides tools that combine screening with cognitive-behavioral therapy in order to reduce harm from substance use and to provide tools for managing co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and depression.

SAFER North Island
AVI Health and Community Services Society – Victoria, BC
$2,866,022 over 18 months to develop a community-based safer supply model in rural and regional British Colombia. This model would provide pharmaceutical alternatives to the toxic drug supply and enhance community care and social supports. The initial focus will be on the delivery of a fentanyl patch program to participants at high risk of opioid overdose across Campbell River, the Comox Valley and Port Hardy for whom current harm reduction and treatment interventions are inadequate or inaccessible.

SAFER Knowledge Transfer (KTE)
AVI Health and Community Services Society – Victoria, BC
$351, 024 over 13 months to build on the experiences of the Victoria SAFER Initiative (VSI). VSI is an existing comprehensive and flexible safer supply model with health care provider oversight which provides pharmaceutical alternatives for people at increased risk of overdose. The SAFER KTE project will offer to support the development, implementation and evaluation of safe supply projects to communities or programs in Canada requesting it.

ONTARIO (total of $6,705,072)

Brantford Safer Supply Pilot (BBSSP)
Grand River Community Health Centre – Brantford, ON
$688,648 over 18 months to implement a safe supply pilot that will provide assessment, monitoring and prescriptions for daily-dispensed take-home oral hydromorphone to eligible participants in Brantford area. It will also provide participants with wraparound support to prevent overdose deaths and harms.

Mapping A Plan (MAP)
John Howard Society of Kawartha Lakes & Haliburton – Lindsay, ON
$80,087 to extend this project and help develop a harm reduction focused, peer and addictions counsellor-led support group and drop-in program for individuals who use substances. This additional funding will also help provide a safe space for people who use substances to receive evidence-based and person centered programming focused on harm reduction and safe usage. It will also promote connection with other community services and supports.

Education, Peer Support, and Community Partnership to Support Harm Reduction
Lawson Research Institute – London, ON
$436,608 over 18 months to create educational supports for health care providers at St. Joseph’s Health Care and London Health Sciences Centre. This includes reviewing existing education modules on methamphetamine use, developing and delivering tailored modules and communications on methamphetamine use, and deploying a nurse educator and a trained lived experience educator.

Harm Reduction Peer Street Outreach
Operation Come Home – Ottawa, ON
$323,456 over 18 months to provide youth experiencing homelessness with individualized support by increasing efforts to prevent the harms associated with substance use through peer-led street outreach. This project will address the current gaps in the city of Ottawa, which were caused by the closure of street outreach programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Substance Use and Treatment in FASD Populations
Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD)– Ottawa, ON
$484,520 to support the expansion of some of its resources developed for treating substance use in adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to now include supports and resources for youth with FASD and for their caregivers.

Empowering youth with opioid overdose response training and use of Naloxone
Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation of Canada, INC.
 – Ottawa, ON
$188,033 to extend this project and further support the implementation of an Opioid Overdose Response Training initiative as an enhancement to its existing Cardiopulmonary Respiratory (CRP) Program that is offered in high schools across Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. This project will help trained students now and in their future to prepare for emergencies they may encounter at home and in the community.

Niagara Region Collaborative Approach to Safer Supply Program
Regional Essential Access to Connected Healthcare, Niagara Inc. – St. Catharines, ON
$1,220,989 over 18 months to provide a mobile delivery model of pharmaceutical alternatives to the toxic drug supply and wraparound care serving vulnerable populations across the Niagara region in partnership with regional health and service organizations. The project will support individuals experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity; marginalized groups such as Indigenous, racialized and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities; those experiencing poverty or economic insecurity; people actively using toxic street drugs; and those engaged in sex work. Best practices, knowledge and capacity building will be incorporated and provided to relevant community agencies, along with health, social, and harm reduction workers.

Wellness Navigation Program
Réseau ACCESS Network – Sudbury, ON
$514,282 over 13 months to increase access to services for people who use drugs while reducing stigma through connecting with new and existing programs. Peers will be trained as community workers and work alongside staff to create culturally-safe and stigma-free spaces for community members, which will help remove barriers to accessing care. The project is the result of community consultations, focus groups and surveys.

Designing Youth Vaping Cessation Interventions
The Governing Council of the University of Toronto – Toronto, ON
$688,656 over 19 months to make improvements to their vaping app called “Crush the Crave”. The additional funding will allow the organization to improve interventions like visualization methods and support the creation of the Vaping Cessation Chatbot. This Chatbot will provide the most frequent questions and answers to individuals wishing to quit vaping, provide support in both French and English, and enable data collection and analysis to inform continuous learning and adaptation prior to interventions.

N-O-T Online: A multifaceted online program for youth tobacco cessation
Ontario Lung Association (Lung Health Foundation) – Toronto, ON
$287,000 to extend this project for a year and support the reach and enhancement of the Ontario Lung Association’s (OLA) existing youth focused programs, Not on Tobacco (N-O-T) and QUASH. N-O-T is an interactive online and mobile-friendly youth cessation program supporting youth from 14-19 through their individual quit journey. This funding will help increase its reach and reduce barriers for people who want to implement a plan to quit tobacco smoking and nicotine vaping. QUASH is a free multifaceted smoking and vaping cessation program working to engage youth and get them to quit vaping. This program makes it easier for participants to follow a custom plan for quitting. It includes an app, a website and an online-trained adult facilitator.

Youth Opioids Awareness Program
YMCA OF GREATER TORONTO – Toronto, ON
$1,177,915 over 16 months to implement a youth awareness program in Toronto centered around the Icelandic Prevention Model that will increase knowledge of opioid use, address stigma and promote healthy lifestyles through physical activity. This project would educate, protect, connect and support youth aged 15 to 24 to help them better understand and make educated choices about opioids. It would be provided in French and English and would also be available outside of Toronto, in Vancouver and rural communities in Newfoundland, where youth are at higher risk of opioid use.

Substance Abuse, Mental Health and Stigma, We’re Talking About It
Hope for Immigrant Women
 – Toronto, ON
$177,030 over 13 months to launch a substance use education, awareness and prevention campaign for black francophone young women and mothers of African origin located in Toronto’s Scarborough neighborhood. This campaign will provide training, workshops, and resources on substance use and mental health to help equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to prevent substance use, and educate them on different resources about how to seek help as well as address stigma around mental illness and substance use.

Drug Pros Prep School (DPPS)
South Riverdale Community Health Centre – Toronto, ON
$445,818 over 17 months to implement the Drug Pros Prep School (DPPS) program, a 16-week paid training and mentorship on-the-job program for future harm reduction/overdose response workers. People with lived or living experience of substance use, Black people, Indigenous people, other racialized people and 2SLGBTQIA+ persons will be trained on how to work in a trauma-informed, gender-transformative, and anti-oppressive manner.

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (PEI) (total of $435,717)

Rural and Small-Town Peer Outreach Project  
P.E.E.R.S. Alliance Inc. – Charlottetown, PEI
$435,717 over 17 months to pilot a peer-led harm reduction outreach model for individuals who use illegal substances in rural and small-town settings in Prince Edward Island. The model will help people navigate the health and social services systems. The project also includes the recruitment, hiring, training and ongoing support of a peer team coordinator and peer leaders.

SASKATCHEWAN (total of $597,829)

Integrated Justice Program – Harm Reduction Project
The FASD Network of Saskatchewan – Saskatoon, SK
$597,829 over 13 months to provide wraparound services to people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) who use substances and have had prior contact with the Saskatchewan justice system. These services include harm reduction services in a location easy to access. This project will also provide training to workers in health and social services organizations on trauma-informed approaches to better support people with FASD.

YUKON (total of $78,693)

Indicators and Training for Counsellors in Evidence-Based Wellness Modalities for Mental Health and Substance Use
Government of Yukon – Whitehorse, YT
$78,693 over 18 months to standardize mental wellness psychosocial treatment services for Yukoners in urban, rural and remote settings, by adopting and providing training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a mental health wellness service where a mental health clinician helps clients work towards achieving their own goals and living according to their own values. ACT has proven to be effective in both mental health and substance use treatment settings amongst diverse age groups. It also incorporates the development of evaluation parameters led by persons with lived experience, clinicians and First Nation governments.