Announcing Health Canada Funding for two Squamish Helping Hands Program

Squamish Helping Hands Society has received funding from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP) for two important programs operating at Under One Roof:

  • Squamish Pain Program
  • Open Door Health primary care clinic

On July 6th, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, along with our MP Patrick Weiler joined our own Lori Pyne at Under One Roof to announce this funding as part of 42 programs across BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan supported through $20 million of federal funds.

The funding to SHHS totals over $780,000 spread over 27 months.

The Squamish Pain Program provides support to people with persistent pain and experience of substance use and/or mental health issues. The program provides low barrier access to one to one sessions with clinical practitioners, providing counselling, therapeutic massage, yoga, and physiotherapy. It also includes “Making Sense of Pain”; a self-management class series for people with pain who also live in marginalized conditions and face barriers to accessing care. It provides participants opportunities to learn about pain and simple strategies for improved pain management.

“Living with chronic pain is more than just physical pain, it affects all aspects of someone's life emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially and socially, too. It is largely invisible and therefore those affected can feel disbelieved, misunderstood, be made marginalized and stigmatized. Often folks don’t have access to adequate and trauma-informed care due to stigma and accessibility and at times seek illicit drugs for support with pain. As chronic pain is complex and influenced by many factors such as trauma, injury, stress, systemic conditions and poverty, and can lead to long-term dependency on substances for pain management, an integrative approach to care is needed.
-Richelle Muscroft- Squamish Pain Program Coordinator, IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist

“It was really useful for me to recognize some of the triggers and challenges that impact my life. Also, I learnt really useful tools to identify how my body responds to some situations and how to prioritize that and listen to what my body is telling me and give it what it needs. I now have information and tools to help manage my pain.”

-Squamish Pain Program Participant

Open Door Health is a primary care clinic providing people who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness, using substances, experiencing pain and or mental health challenges with access to the care of a physician right on site at the Under One Roof facility.

“This funding that we have received is critical funding to improve the quality of lives and if we improve lives we improve community and that’s why we are all here.” -Lori Pyne, SHHS Executive Director

"Since opening the clinic, Open Door Health, at Under One Roof we have been able to use a comprehensive team approach to engage many individuals who had not received primary care for years. Using a low barrier approach we have been able to connect with many people to work towards improving their physical and mental health on their own terms."

- Dr. Melissa Aragon, Open Door Health Medical Director

This initiative was funded by a contribution from Health Canada’s Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.