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

TRUE explores Penticton tourism offerings

Event showcases local experiences for tourism week

A good day for a grind

Summerland’s Giant’s Head Grind now in fifth year

Olympic gold medallist returns to Summerland

Justin Kripps brought his gold medal to Summerland Secondary Thursday

Families honoured by Penticton Speedway Memorial race

Young Guns Memorial Weekend is held at the Penticton Speedway this weekend

Reel Reviews: Atypical college life

We say, “Life of the Party is pleasant and harmless.”

Fun and games, medieval style

more fun than watching the royal wedding

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to B.C.

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

The Okanagan shines in foodie finalist list

Western Living has released their 2018 list of finalists

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Most Read