How the Province is Responding

On April 14, 2016, provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared a public health emergency under the Public Health Act due to the significant rise in opioid-related overdose deaths reported in B.C. since the beginning of 2016. The declaration of a public health emergency under the Act the allows for real-time information to be collected, reported and analyzed across the health system, to identify immediately where risks are arising and take proactive action to warn and protect people who use drugs. This is the first time Dr. Kendall has used the act to enact these emergency powers.

In September 2017, the provincial government allocated $322 million over the next three years to save lives, end stigma and improve access to services for people struggling with addiction. Led by the new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, the government is taking an all-of-province approach to combat the overdose crisis that includes crucial additional investments and improvements to mental health and addictions services.

In December 2017, to escalate its response across all sectors and spearhead urgent, life-saving action, the Province launched the Overdose Emergency Response Centre. The centre is working provincially, regionally and locally to mobilize resources within communities to intervene quickly to save lives and deliver proactive treatment and support on the ground to proactively identify and support people at risk from overdose.

Community Crisis Innovation Fund

The government is investing $3 million in 2017/18 through the Community Crisis Innovation Fund to support community-based overdose prevention actions across the province, and this will be delivered in two ways.

  1. $1.5 million in Community Action Team Grants is designated for the initial 18 Community Action Teams identified through overdose data as having the most urgent need. These communities will receive up to $100,000 each in one-time provincial funding to facilitate life-saving responses, early intervention and support people in accessing evidenced-based proactive treatment.
  2. There is an additional $1.5 million available in 2017/18 to all B.C. communities in need of funding to support overdose prevention efforts through Community Overdose Crisis Grants. These grants will be administered by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions Overdose Emergency Response Centre in partnership with the Community Action Initiative (CAI). 

Community Action Team Grant application process now open

The Community Action Initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions (MMHA) and the Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC), has funding available for Community Action Team Grants.

Grants are available for initiatives aligned with the OERC’s Comprehensive Package of Interventions (See Appendix A in grant application). Community Action Team Grants are one-time grants that can be awarded as one or multiple linked initiatives to one or multiple organizations. Applicants are to identify one lead financial organization to manage the grant funds.

Maximum funding for this grant program is $100,000 per high priority community. Eligible communities include: Vancouver, Richmond, Powell River, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Chilliwack, Victoria, Campbell River, Nanaimo, Duncan, Port Alberni, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon, Prince George and Fort St. John.

To view full project details and to submit your proposal, please visit: www.communityactioninitiative.ca/grants-and-training/cat-grant/

Applications open: April 18, 2018
Applications close: June 1, 2018
Grants awarded: June 2018

All questions regarding the application process can be directed to info@communityactioninitiative.ca

Please email OERC@gov.bc.ca for information on funding criteria for Community Crisis Response Grants and the application process or check back here for more details as they become available. 

To learn more about the actions government is taking, check out the information below.

Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Grant application process is now open

The purpose of the Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Grant is to support community-led overdose prevention and response efforts.

Similar to CAT grants, Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Grants are available for initiatives aligned with the OERC’s Comprehensive Package of Interventions (see OERC Terms of Reference). These interventions will capitalize on proven and effective strategies to form a comprehensive response to the overdose crisis.

Examples of the types of projects that may be supported include those that build on:

•          Stronger paths to treatment and care

•          Innovative strategies to reach people who use alone

•          Indigenous approaches to healing and wellness, or

•          Initiatives to enhance engagement of people with lived experience.

Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Grants are one-time funds that are available to communities that are not developing a CAT. However, communities with a CAT are not precluded from applying for this second stream of funding. The maximum allocation available for the Community Overdose Crisis Innovation Grant program is $75,000 per community

Application criteria will include an emphasis on geographic reach and innovation. Agencies and coalitions within communities that have an Overdose Emergency Community Action Team (CAT) are eligible to apply for this grant, but funding decisions will take into account equitable distribution of resources across regions affected by the overdose crisis.

To view full project details and to submit your proposal, please visit: http://www.communityactioninitiative.ca/grants-and-training/oerc-cai-grant/stream-2/

Applications open: June 4, 2018

Applications close: July 13, 2018

Grants awarded: September 2018

All questions regarding the application process can be directed to Naseam Ahmadi, Project Manager at CAI, nahmadi@communityactioninitiative.ca or oerc@gov.bc.ca.

Overdose Emergency Response Centre

Key Updates and Resources