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Team ready to help front line of the opioid crisis

Last Updated Dec 20, 2017 at 10:56 pm PST

File photo. (Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

NEWS 1130 (VANCOUVER) — The toll in BC from the opioid crisis is reaching much farther than the more than 1,200 people who have died from overdose this year.

The Mobile Response Team (MRT), a group that supports people on the front line of crisis, says problems are not fading away.

“It’s not, and it’s everywhere,” says team lead Carolyn Sinclair, adding MRT is helping people in a variety of situations deal with and mitigate the psychological trauma associated with the opioid crisis.

“People working in shelters, people assisting in different ways, like a community centre, helping them with bathroom safety, because people are going in there and overdosing. It’s not something they signed up for.”

Sinclair says the first thing first responders and those on the front line need to know, is it’s okay, not to be okay.

“It’s not just what they see, it’s the exposure and the duration, seeing it over and over again. You know, we all have a capacity maximum and for many of these people, they’ve met their maximum, but they’re still working.”

Sinclair says the province is being very proactive in working with MRT, and funding has been renewed for two years.

MRT started as a pilot project stemming from the Ministry of Health recognizing something needs to be done for frontline staff.

The Provincial Health Services Authority says the Mobile Response Team is available to provide psychosocial supports across the province.

Those requesting the services of the Mobile Response Team can contact Sinclair by clicking here.