(Toronto, Nov. 13, 2018) – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division welcomes today’s news from the Ontario government regarding the administration of naloxone by police officers.
The following is a statement from Camille, Quenneville, CEO, CMHA Ontario:
“Police are often the first to arrive on scene when a person is experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis. Giving officers the freedom to deliver life-saving naloxone without SIU reprisal is a tremendous move by this government. If this saves just one life it will be worth it.
“It’s important that we have all resources available to help fight this deadly and ongoing opioid crisis. Today’s news gives the first responder community, and the mental health and addictions sector, another tool to help save someone’s life.
“You wouldn’t charge a person if they tried to deliver CPR and someone died. Why should the administration of naloxone by police officers be any different? We’re pleased that police officers will no longer have to think twice before giving naloxone to a person in critical need.
“CMHA believes the fight against opioid-related deaths should be a systemic effort. Just as portable defibrillators are broadly available, so should naloxone. To help, CMHA Ontario has developed a free toolkit called Reducing Harms: Recognizing and Responding to Opioid Overdoses in your Organization. The toolkit educates people about the opioid crisis, the signs of an overdose, where to get naloxone and how to administer the potentially life-saving medication.”
- There were 1,265 opioid-related deaths in 2017, up from 865 the year before.
- An average of three people died daily of an opioid-related overdose in Ontario in 2017.
- Find out where you can get free naloxone kits here (www.ontario.ca/where-get-free-naloxone-kit)
About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization funded by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We work to improve the lives of all Ontarians through leadership, collaboration and continual pursuit of excellence in community-based mental health and addictions services. Our vision is a society that embraces and invests in the mental health of all people. We are a trusted advisor to government, contributing to health systems development through policy formulation and recommendations that promote positive mental health. Our 30 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.
For more information, contact:
Communications, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
T: 416-977-5580, ext. 4141