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Overdose Outreach Teams Extended in Saskatoon

Released on July 18, 2023

A pilot program to help people reduce their risk of overdose and other drug-related harms is being extended.

Overdose Outreach Teams (OOT) in Saskatoon will continue for another six months to further develop the outreach process and expand the reach of the teams. 

"The Overdose Outreach Teams have done some promising work building relationships with Saskatchewan residents who are struggling with addictions," Mental Health and Addictions Minister Everett Hindley said. "I've heard some of the success stories that the teams have had so far and look forward to seeing how they help more people access supports."

The Overdose Outreach Teams launched last December as part of the Saskatchewan Drug Task Force initiative.

The teams are comprised of a mental health and addictions counsellor from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and a primary care paramedic from Saskatoon Fire Services. They provide short-term counselling while connecting individuals who have recently experienced an overdose with other agencies for long-term needs.

To date, they have supported more than 60 individuals by connecting them with mental health and addictions services, housing, medical intervention and financial services.

"Our Overdose Outreach Teams have made some very important connections in the community," SHA Director of Mental Health Addiction Services Nicole Schumacher said. "So many people have benefitted from our services and spread the word to their friends, family and community. That level of trust helps us tremendously in reaching individuals who might not otherwise access assistance." 

"We're seeing overdoses occur in all areas of our city, from all walks of life," Saskatoon Fire Chief Morgan Hackl said. "The OOT's client-centered care and the facilitation of connecting patients to supports has proven to be highly effective. We're grateful for the opportunity to continue this great work in partnership with Regina Fire and Protective Services and the Saskatchewan Health Authority."

The pilot will be reviewed once it is complete to help determine next steps. 

In 2023-24, the province invested a record $518 million for mental health and addiction services.


For more information, contact:

Phone: 306-787-4083

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