When a number of Harm Reduction and Hep C workers from Toronto and Ottawa Community Health Centres (CHCs) approached ABRPO for help managing the impact of unanticipated opioid-related deaths and near deaths, we responded with on-site debriefings and support for community grief circles. But we soon realized that even with the distribution of naloxone kits, opening of Pop-Up sites for safe consumption use and projected opening of Safer Injection sites, the reality of tragic and traumatic losses would continue.
ABRPO initiated a community consultation to discuss agency and community needs for grief and loss support, training and integration of organizational strategies to better support their workers, peers and community members. The pilot work with these CHCs and SIS sites is underway and involves direct support, training for frontline workers and peers, and follow-up training with managers to integrate practices of effective debriefing within their teams. The goal of our efforts here is to help provide supports to the frontline workers, so that the vital work in this area can continue.
Resources related to this work are available for download:
As well, ABRPO has created handbook for managers and supervisors which forms the basis of our trainings and debriefing practices, called When Grief Comes to Work: A Handbook for Managers and Supervisors. Access it here: