New provider, enhanced access for overdose prevention services in Campbell River

CAMPBELL RIVER – A new provider with strong community connections will soon deliver overdose prevention services (OPS) in Campbell River that include extended hours and an ability to reach more people who use substances.

As of June 1, 2020, the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) will deliver overdose prevention services at its location on 1330 Dogwood Street in Campbell River. Island Health awarded the contract for the Campbell River OPS to VIMHS following a recent request for proposals process. The current provider, AVI Health and Community Services Society (AVI), will continue to deliver overdose prevention services at 1371 C Cedar Street until June 15 in order to connect and transition clients to the new site and services.

“Island Health is pleased that VIMHS, which has a long history of providing valuable services to vulnerable persons, will soon deliver life-saving overdose prevention services in Campbell River,” says Lisa Murphy, Director of Mental Health and Substance Use for central and north Vancouver Island. “We are also grateful to AVI and its staff for their contributions, and we look forward to continuing to partner with them to provide other harm reduction services and education.” 

“We are pleased to have been chosen as Campbell River’s OPS provider moving forward,” says Taryn O’Flanagan, Executive Director of VIMHS. “It is an opportunity to enhance our support in the community by offering a broad range of services in a safe and welcoming environment.”

A key goal in selecting a provider was to increase access to, and use of, overdose prevention services for persons in Campbell River, particularly those at highest risk of fatal overdose – individuals who use substances privately and do not attend the OPS site.

VIMHS will offer overdose prevention services as part of its Sobering and Assessment Centre, a 24/7 facility that is well-integrated in the community. This service model offers an opportunity to reach those who may not currently engage with OPS services in Campbell River. 

As of June 1, 2020, VIMHS’s overdose prevention services in Campbell River will be available from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

About Island Health:
Island Health provides health care and support services to more than 800,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River. With more than 22,000 staff and over 2,000 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: Public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.

Media contact:    
Island Health
Dominic Abassi