Image: Facebook/Vancouver Canucks Image: Facebook/Vancouver Canucks

Canucks help fight stigma of addiction in new public awareness campaign

The Vancouver Canucks hockey team and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions are joining together to combat stigma around substance use

The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks are helping launch a public awareness campaign to fight the stigma associated with substance abuse at a time when British Columbia is mired in an overdose crisis.

The provincial government’s campaign includes messages that will be broadcast on television, shown online, on social media and on billboards.

The campaign will be highlighted at Canucks home games and at other events at Rogers Arena, such as concerts, until June.

Judy Darcy, the minister of mental health and addictions, says the stigma surrounding addiction is leading to deaths in the province.

The public awareness campaign shows addiction can affect anyone and it asks people to stop seeing addiction as a “moral failure” and instead as a health issue.

British Columbia declared a public health emergency in 2016 because of the overdose epidemic.

Related: Canucks Playroom offers fun space for sick kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Related: Nine suspected fatal overdoses over five days

The latest figures from the BC Coroners Service recorded 1,208 fatal overdoses between January and October last year.

The powerful opioid fentanyl was detected in 999 of the confirmed and suspected deaths during that time, an increase of 136 per cent from the same period in 2016.

“Addiction is often a response to deep pain or trauma, and stigma drives our loved ones to act and live in dark silence,” Darcy said Monday in a statement. “We need to knock down the walls of silence and encourage courageous conversations between friends, family and co-workers struggling with substance use, so they feel supported in seeking treatment and recovery.”

Kirk McLean, a retired Canucks goaltender, said people are losing family members, friends and neighbours.

“It’s been absolutely devastating to watch this crisis unfold right in our backyard,” he said in a news release.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in parts of Lower Mainland

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

New riverfront path under development

A path suitable for mobility scooters, pedestrians, cyclists and baby strollers

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Most Read