HPAP and the University of Toronto Black Medical Student Association is excited to host a lecture from Donna Alexander, a social worker working with CAMH’s Substance Abuse Program for African Canadian and Caribbean Youth (SAPACCY). The talk will discuss Afrocentric and Eurocentric mental health care approaches and how this impacts clinical practice.
All health providers (nurses, social workers, housing workers, health students etc.) are welcome to sign up for the HPAP monthly meeting and learn from Donna Alexander on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at https://tinyurl.com/HPAPFeb2021. The meeting will be from 6:30 – 8:30pm and Donna will be speaking from 6:45 – 7:45pm – feel free to join any portion you are able to! The deadline to register is Jan 31st.
Healthcare Providers Against Poverty is a group of healthcare workers who strive to make healthcare provision equitable for all. Since the COVID19 pandemic started, our members have noticed a worrying but predictable trend: those without phones are struggling to get healthcare.
Think about it. Clinics that were once walk-in for care now require pre-booking, even vital harm reduction services like safe-injection sites. Most outpatient healthcare appointments are entirely conducted via phone or Zoom. Almost all mental health services have moved to a virtual or phone based appointment, making the very limited free resources available now entirely dependent on a person’s possession of a charged and functional phone. Lastly, and most devastatingly, those without a phone are unable to call 911 in life threatening emergencies. In a time where over 2000 people are estimated to die from a poisoned opioid supply, and many chronic health issues are worsening due to pandemic-related treatment delays, having an operational phone can be the difference between life and death.
At the same time, the combined forces of lost income and unsustainable rental markets in this pandemic have forced more people out of their homes than ever before. Many people are experiencing homelessness for the first time and we are seeing a substantial increase in the number of people living in encampments. Our neighbours in encampments already face innumerable barriers to healthcare, and the lifelong systemic oppression that forces someone to live in an encampment also puts them at a higher risk for many chronic and complex physical and mental health conditions. Combine all these factors with winter weather conditions, and we are gravely concerned for the health and safety of our neighbors, friends, and patients living outside.
At the very least, we need to be able to contact them.
So, HPAP is proud to share our first ever fundraiser, Connections for Encampments. The goal of this fundraiser is simple: provide telecommunication technology to people living in encampments so they can access healthcare. We were lucky to work with the incredible community advocates at the Encampment Support Network (ESN) to get an understanding of what supplies are needed and access a channel for distribution of supplies.
Our goal with this fundraiser is to raise a minimum of $4000 to provide rechargeable batteries, charging cables, and phone cards to people living in encampments. We are simultaneously contacting phone companies for donations of unlocked phones for those who are in need, but we need your help keeping those phones charged.
Many families in Ontario rely on social assistance to cover their basic living expenses, which has only become even more challenging during this pandemic. We know that COVID-19 is disproportionally impacting low-income Ontarians, who are often at the front line of this pandemic. Despite this social assistant rates have not increased since 2018 and they keep people below the poverty line.
Join us today in a day of action demanding increased social assistance benefits for Ontarians who have been hardest hit by this pandemic.
You can help by:
Contacting Todd Smith (Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services)