Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC
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NNPBC is a not for profit society registered in the province of British Columbia in September, 2018

Policy & Advocacy: Anti-Stigma Workshops


Are you a student in a nursing program, a direct care nurse or a healthcare provider that believes you and your colleagues would benefit from a better understanding of how to care for people who are experiencing substance use difficulties? NNPBC has a workshop that will change your way of understanding the world around you as you "walk a mile in another man's shoes", and gain a better understanding of those who have chosen an alternate lifestyle.

The stigmatization of people living with substance use difficulties is all too common in Canada, including within healthcare environments. People with lived experiences of substance use difficulties often report feeling devalued, dismissed and dehumanized by many of the healthcare professionals with whom they come into contact. Research with healthcare providers suggests that stigma can manifest in subtle and largely unintended ways. Specifically, stigma can be related to a lack of skills and confidence when working with patients with substance use difficulties, a lack awareness of one's own prejudices and an incomplete understanding of how important healthcare providers are in maintaining good health.

Understanding stigma and the lives of those impacted by negative and often damaging stereotypes is fundamental in ensuring that people who use substances achieve better health outcomes. While health care providers enter their profession because they want to care for people, they are not immune to negative stereotyping. This in turn completely changes the way in which the substance user engages with health care, and those who have substance use difficulties often choose to not seek care for fear of a lack of concern, empathy and even professionalism on the part of the provider.

In recognition of the importance of the patient/provider relationship when supporting those who have substance use difficulties, NNPBC has teamed up with Spike, who is a strong advocate for the issues that impact his country, his province and his community - the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. We wouldn't expect him to teach nursing, and we would never presume we can teach the true impact of stereotyping and stigma on individuals who have substance use difficulties. A perfect partnership - and your opportunity to join Spike in a three hour workshop that will change the way you interact with those who have chosen alternate lifestyles.

Spike's Workshop

Gerald "Spike" Peachey, is a community advocate, entrepreneur, expert advisor, consultant, and an individual with lived experience when it comes to substance use.

During his anti-stigma workshop, Spike, along with his friends and colleagues, will share their highly personal stories of interactions they have had within the health care system. Many of these stories will break your heart and will encourage you to ask yourself how you might feel in the same situation. They will challenge you to do better and be better.

But there are many things that are also working, and this workshop will allow you and your group to spend time experiencing many of the life-saving overdose prevention and community outreach sites on Vancouver's Downtown East Side and will show you the beauty of this incredible community of individuals who care for and protect one another in the midst of what has been a devastating epidemic of overdoses that have occurred at alarming levels all over B.C.

Click on the button below to schedule a workshop with your group. We encourage groups of between 5 and 10 people, but will be flexible if you have a few more or a few less. We welcome all people who have a desire and interest in learning, but preference will be given to those in the nursing community (students, practicing, retired).

Once you've filled in the form, a team member will be in touch within two business days of your request to finalize details