VICTORIA, B.C. – The Provincial Government is investing $2.5 million into Community Action Teams (CATs) to support communities hit by the overdose crisis.

This funding will see 36 CATs across the province, including five teams in the Northern Health area—Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Prince George, Quesnel, and Terrace.

“By investing in CATs, we are supporting overdose prevention and partnering with people with lived and living experience at the local level,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“I’m grateful for the knowledge and experience of CAT team members, whose dedication is making a difference every day by saving lives.”

CATs will be a part of the province’s response to the illicit drug toxicity crisis. These teams will help save lives and reduce drug harm by distributing naloxone, supporting overdose prevention services, providing peer supports, and reducing stigma.

The teams include community partners like First Nations communities, municipalities, front-line community agencies, and people with lived experience.

“We are extremely grateful to the Province for this critical funding for our community,” said Nancy Burchell, project coordinator, Fort St. John Community Action Team.

“CATs play an integral role in responding to the overdose crisis. Funding at the local level is essential to helping save lives and establishing initiatives with the regional health authority, First Nation partners, outreach agencies, and people with lived and living experience.”

The first CATs were established in February 2018 in part with the Province’s response to the drug poisoning crisis.

More information can be found on the Province’s website.