City of Revelstoke creating a community dialogue on opioid use

The Community Dialogue on Opioid Use will allow people from all backgrounds to come together in an effort to create a deeper understanding of substance use in Revelstoke.

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The Seeds of Dialogue, Tree of Understanding will kick-off the community dialogue on opioid use during Luna Fest on Sept. 28. Image: City of Revelstoke.

The City of Revelstoke is starting a community dialogue on opioid use, thanks to a grant from the Canadian Institute of Substance Use Research through the University of Victoria. The inclusive community conversation will take place via four unique events.

Between January and August of 2018, Revelstoke had six deaths attributed to substance use overdose in our community. Work on tackling substance use challenges in Revelstoke dates back to 2010 with the release of the Revelstoke Community Substance Use Strategy, which resulted in the Youth Advisory Committee and, in 2015, the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative.

The Community Dialogue on Opiod Use will allow people from the community, (including doctors, emergency services, educators, people with lived and living experience, artists, humanitarians, business owners and others) to come together in an effort to create a new and deeper understanding of opioid and other substance use in Revelstoke.

In a statement, the city said participants will try to reach a common understanding during free flowing group conversations in a non-judgemental way. The four community events are:

Luna Art Installation: Seeds of dialogue, Tree of Understanding.

Saturday, Sept. 28, outside city hall. The public is invited to write their thoughts after watching a short video. These “seeds of dialogue” will follow through the remainder of the community dialogue events.

Community Meal: On the Table

Oct. 20-26, location to be announced.Cooking and sharing a meal together has the potential to unite a community, shed labels, and come together as equals. This meal will be a safe space where no one needs to disclose their intent behind being there unless they choose to.

Panel Mixer

Nov 6- 13, location to be announced. Beginning with a brief background and state of the work on substance use locally and in the province, panelists including local practitioners working in the field, people with lived experience, and other stakeholders, will make themselves available to speak, but also listen. Using technology to allow for anonymous questions, comments, and dialogue, the goal is to come to a better understanding of the local landscape and local experiences.

Welcome Week: “Connecting Newcomers & the Community”

November 23-30, locations to be announced. This week of free or low-cost events celebrates the people living in Revelstoke and those new to the community, while teaching about substances and resources available locally.