In February, viewers heard from a peer-facilitated panel on their lived experience of seeking services and support. A common thread in the panel’s remarks was a complex and nuanced reality. Substance use can be seen as a barrier to service, as the source of legal jeopardy, as a threat to health and safety, and also as self-medication for trauma and as part of a generally healthy and “normal” life.
On April 28, we picked up on the engaging conversations had in our February session, Lived Experience – Connections & Mental Health by turning to the current operational environment across the social, health, and justice sectors. If the person is to be at the centre of service delivery and outcome objectives, how do people navigate the array of laws, rules, norms, and beliefs applied to substance use across all three sectors? How are public organizations and non-profits currently balancing the complexity of individual substance use and dependency in their service delivery? And what practical steps might be taken – or existing approaches expanded/embraced – to decrease barriers to support, recovery, and successful reintegration?
Beginning with remarks from the noted speaker and advocate Guy Felicella, an expert panel reflect on the current institutional and system landscape.