Many people in the Fred Victor community experience the “ill-effects” of poverty, chronic instability and homelessness. People suffering from premature aging, severe mental confusion, post-traumatic stress disorder, communicable diseases and much more all visit our Health and Community Services Centre at 145 Queen Street East.
A team of nurses, medical doctors and personal support workers provide overall general health services. We also partner with other agencies to provide specialized care clinics.
Health Promotion staff works with groups and organizations in the planning, development and delivery of services. The team also provides education, and develops and disseminates information about mental health issues, services and resources. Health Promotion services are available to community mental health agencies, consumer/survivor groups, family groups, hospitals, community groups and individuals.
Harm Reduction is a realistic, public health approach to reducing the harmful physical and mental effects of prolonged substance use. Individuals learn to manage how, and how much they use drugs and alcohol so they have less negative impact on their health.
When you are committed to harm reduction, you are involved in counselling, support groups, and educational workshops to help you get control of your life even as you continue to use substances such as drugs and alcohol. You are open to receiving information and referral to other healthcare and services for your addiction.
BUZZ on the Street newsletter is for people who use drugs and alcohol and it is part of a harm reduction approach.
On February 21, Fred Victor Health Services opened up a space in our 145 Queen Street East site with three booths where people who use injectable drugs can do so under the supervision of trained staff. It is an interim site.
Questions about supervised injection sites abound. Will the crime rate go up? Answer: No. The neighbourhoods surrounding InSite in Vancouver has not experienced an increase in crime, and actually, there was a reported decrease in vehicle break-ins and thefts. Similar reports have come from other parts of the world where safe injection sites are active.
Other questions: Aren’t we just supporting the deterioration of human lives by allowing drug use? Answer: No. On average the people using safe injection sites have been injecting for 16 years, and no one started using street drugs because there was a safe injection site around the corner.
Fred Victor clients use our health, housing and employment services already. The addition of a supervised injection site is one more health intervention to help reduce the rates of HIV and Hepatitis C infections, decrease overdoses, and increase contact with primary healthcare workers.
A partnership with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), shared care is an on-site nursing care and counselling clinic for people with mental health and addiction issues.
A partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital, withdrawal management offers assistance to people who want to stop using.
Concurrent Disorders Support Services is a network of more than 35 agencies in Toronto that help people who have both mental health and substance abuse issues. Find out more about CDSS.