Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy

The Brantford-Brant Community Drugs Strategy is a multi-stakeholder community initiative made up of a partnership including public health agencies and municipal organizations including the Brant County Health Unit, St. Leonard’s Community Services, The Aids Network, Brantford Police Services, Grand River Community Health Centre, Brantford Substance Users Network, Brant Community Healthcare System, City of Brantford, County of Brant, and Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services. Below is an overview of the services provided by each participating organization.

Brant County Health Unit (BCHU)

The Brant County Health Unit is one of 34 health units in Ontario and serves the population of Brant County and the City of Brantford. The Health Unit’s mission is to provide health promotion, protection and disease prevention programs and services designed to help all members of the community achieve and maintain optimal health. 

Harm reduction and substance use comprise one of BCHU’s many service areas. As part of this portfolio, the Health Unit maintains and empties 11 community syringe disposal bins, conducts regular community syringe clean-ups, and distributes harm reduction supplies and naloxone. In addition, the Health Unit implements Memoranda of Understanding with other organizations in the community who wish to provide naloxone and/or harm reduction supplies to their clients.

The Health Unit is available to provide training to individuals or groups on naloxone administration and safe needle pick-up and disposal. To schedule a training, please email the Harm Reduction Enhancement Program at HREP@bchu.org. If your organization is interested in becoming a naloxone or harm reduction supply distributor, please contact Alyssa Stryker at alyssa.stryker@bchu.org to assess your eligibility. 

St. Leonard’s Community Services (SLCS)

St. Leonard’s Community Services (SLCS), a non-profit, charitable organization, provides a full range of health and social programs to children, youth, adults and families in the city of Brantford, Brant County and Haldimand County. In addition to justice, employment, and housing services, SLCS is a well-established provider of addiction, mental health, and concurrent disorder services, that delivers strengths-based, client-centred, trauma-informed programs.  This includes a range of crisis supports including a 24/7, 365 day a year crisis phone line, mental health walk-in, and outreach-based crisis stabilization services.  SLCS provides a full continuum of coordinated addiction programs including outpatient assessment and counselling, day treatment, residential withdrawal management and residential addiction treatment.  As an Agency we have successfully brought bed-based addiction services to the community.  In 2019 the community had no such services, and now has 28 beds across withdrawal management and treatment programs. Focused on Harm Reduction, SLCS offers safe use supplies and naloxone to clients and members of the public.  SLCS is a long-standing and active contributor to the BBCDS, with a keen interest in supporting our community’s efforts to realize a Safe Consumption and Treatment site.  For more information about SLCS addiction and mental health services,  please visit https://www.st-leonards.com/addictions-and-mental-health.

The AIDS Network (TAN)

The AIDS Network (TAN) is a non-profit organization serving Hamilton, Halton, Haldimand, Norfolk, and Brant.  Since 2018, TAN has been providing dedicated harm reduction services in Brantford/Brant County including mobile van outreach, community education and awareness events.

This work is deeply rooted in two core principles:

  1. That people with lived experiences must be central to program development and implementation, and;
  2. That services must be centered around the self-determined needs of people accessing services. 

For more information, please visit www.aidsnetwork.ca

Brantford Police Services (BPS)

The Brantford Police Service is committed to enhancing safety for all, by engaging and supporting a unified community. They are driven by the values of integrity, commitment and innovation. The Brantford Police Service maintains a strong moral compass based on trust, dignity and respect and is committed to innovation in the delivery of police services.

Grand River Community Health Centre (GRCHC)

The Grand River Community Health Centre provides community based primary health care and offers a range of services to support the emotional, physical and social needs of individuals and communities.  The Centre opens channels between the health sector and the broader community.  The Centre creates opportunities to work together to achieve equity, a sense of belonging, health and wellbeing for all. 

Brantford Substance Users Network (BSUN)

The Brantford Substance Users Network (BSUN) is a peer-based, all volunteer organization that seeks to promote the health and defend the rights of local substance users. BSUN exposes and challenges stigma, discrimination and the criminalization of people who use drugs and their impact on the drug-using community’s health and rights. BSUN achieves this through processes of empowerment and advocacy at the municipal, provincial and federal level. To learn more or get involved, please visit BSUN’s Facebook page.

Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) 

The Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS) offers same day, on-site access to evidence based addictions care for individuals presenting to the Emergency Department with Opioid Use Disorder and/or Opioid Overdose. This is delivered directly by a team comprised of a Nurse Practitioner from BCHS and an Addictions Case Manager from St. Leonard’s Community Services and indirectly through capacity building work with hospital staff. The team works closely with community addictions and other health services to support warm transitions to community services such as the Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinic and withdrawal management. BCHS has also recently launched a harm reduction program which increases and improves access to harm reduction supplies throughout the hospital, including naloxone kits and safer injection and inhalation supplies that can be provided to patients registered and/or admitted to BCHS. 

City of Brantford

Since its launch in 2017, the City of Brantford  has been an advocate for and supported the work of the Brantford-Brant Community Drug Strategy (BBCDS). The BBCDS is an important guide that provides direction to the City and community partners who continue to  collaborate to develop projects, programs and awareness campaigns regarding substance use and access to mental health and addiction treatment in Brantford.

As the social services provider servicing both the City of Brantford and the County of Brant, the City's Community Services and Social Development staff work closely with several BBCDS agencies to develop and implement programs and services to provide support to vulnerable populations in need of Family and Income Stability, Housing and Homelessness, and Employment Supports

Brantford City staff also facilitate the City of Brantford Encampment Network, that includes staff from the Housing Resource Centre, and Brantford Downtown Outreach Team who actively engage with, and provide crucial support to individuals experiencing homelessness and/or those who require mental health and addiction treatment supports. 

The City maintains a coordinated response to supporting individuals experiencing homelessness and in encampments, where community partners are supported to deliver outreach support, provide emergency shelter and referrals to mental health and addiction services if or when needed.  City staff are proud to work alongside community partners to take action to help our most vulnerable citizens. Learn more about how you can help take action to support the City's most vulnerable populations.

County of Brant 

The County of Brant supports the implementation of the Brantford-Brant Community Drug Strategy. To date, the County has implemented a sharps program in Paris, and an internal sharps training program. This program has mitigated risks within our parks, green spaces, streets and more with a safe and inclusive location to drop sharps/drug related paraphernalia within the community. The location of the sharps return container is at Syl Apps Community Centre, Paris, where Community Services staff monitor usage of the program.

The County of Brant has and will continue to foster relationships with outside agencies and organizations to offer harm reduction programs through various avenues including community events. Through these initiatives, supports have been provided with respect to naloxone training, and delivering kits for interested community members, in addition to providing resources and connecting those at risk within our community to partners, organizations and agencies.

The County of Brant is home to many outdoor assets, and the evolving programs and services developed in partnership with external organizations has supported the on-going development and goals to mitigate risks through the Brantford-Brant Community Drug Strategy.

Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services

Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services offers services and support for children and youth facing mental health challenges and for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Woodview works in partnership with families, schools and social service agencies to support children and youth through individualized client-centered services.