This Communications Toolkit was prepared by the Northern Addictions Task Team, a sub-group of the MHA Pandemic Response Committee of the OH North Pandemic Regional Steering Committee. It was developed for Health Service Providers (HSPs) across the north. The Toolkit provides the opportunity for HSPs to adapt resources to suit their individual community needs, embed information on where to access services, and utilize resource templates such as posters and suggested social media posts to address myths and outlines strategies for harm reduction and safer substance use during COVID-19.
There has been a noted increase in overdoses and unsupported withdrawals within Northern Ontario, however it is unclear if this is COVID-19 related or if it is a seasonal trend. Business closures, border closures and social changes have led to decreased access to alcohol and disruptions to the drug supply.
With the reduction of services and/or the transition of services virtually throughout the region, this has disrupted care pathways and has resulted in a decrease in access to some addictions services throughout Northern Ontario. There has also been reduced access to harm reduction supplies in some areas and a large amount of misinformation being circulated related to treatments during COVID-19. All of this has led to misinformation over which services remain open and accessible to patients.
Safer Substance Use for the North logo
For placement alongside agency logos
Media Release Template
Ability to personalize information/quotes
Drug Alert Template
Information for HCPs
Suggested content for posting/sharing
Ability to insert information specific to agencies/communities
Ready to use printable and shareable resources
Stigma and Harm Reduction
Consistent information/messaging for HSP use
Listing of websites/resources for added information
How to use the Toolkit
Inside this Toolkit, you will find templates and resources that you can personalize for your agency/community. Instructions on logo placement and use are included as well as links to posters and tip sheets that can be printed out and distributed as needed. For those who are limiting the distribution of printed materials at this time, feel free to simply have the information on display or posted in treatment areas and waiting rooms. Other point of care areas within your community whereby information can be shared include walk-in clinics, pharmacies, etc.