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Nick has 20 years of experience working in harm reduction. After completing a B.Sc. in Neuropsychology from Dalhousie University he became a trained volunteer with the TRIP! Project – providing safer sex and safer drug use information and supplies to people in Toronto’s rave and nightclub scenes. Subsequently, he worked with the AIDS Committee of Toronto, as the Gay Men’s Harm Reduction Coordinator and was actively involved with the Toronto Gay / Bisexual Men’s Crystal Meth Task Force. For the past several years with OHRN (formerly OHSUTP) he has been very privileged to have travelled the province facilitating education and training with multiple types of service providers. He has experience with program funding and development, online and in-person education and training, capacity building and policy development. He has been involved with various project, working groups and committees over the years including a member of the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Opioid Emergency Task Force, a Board Member with Addictions and Mental Health Ontario a member of the Research Group on Drug Use – Toronto (a CCENDU site), and past Chair of the community grant review panel for the City of Toronto’s ‘Drug Prevention Community Investment Program’. In the summer and fall of 2017, he was also actively involved as a lead volunteer organizer of an unsanctioned Overdose Prevention Site in Moss Park Toronto.
Francisco CC Sapp
Francisco has worked in the HIV and Harm Reduction field for over 15 years. He started out in his career working with youth and creating workshops around leadership, advocacy, and anti-oppression. He quickly moved into the field of HIV, formerly running a peer education program around HIV prevention, substance use, and harm reduction. He has experience as a Capacity Building Specialist partnering with Indigenous communities to help them run their own HIV prevention campaigns and educational events. His portfolio also includes experience speaking about sexuality, gender identity, active listening, sex education, and equity. He has worked as a consultant to non-profits, has been featured as a plenary speaker at conferences across the province, is an excellent baker, and brings his humour and life experiences with him to every training he facilitates.
Kim has 15 years of experience working and volunteering in program coordination, community-based support, and outreach capacities across Canada. Kim received training with the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor Advocate Program at George Brown College in Toronto, ON, and North-South Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, QC. An advocate for peer support programs, Kim has been both a peer support worker and volunteer, and has also trained peer support volunteers in active listening techniques, sexuality and gender identity, sexual health, anti-racist/anti-oppressive frameworks, saneism, and ableism. Kim started at the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans (LGBT) Youth Line as a volunteer and was then later employed as a supervisor, a community engagement worker, and as Interim Service Coordinator.
As an outreach worker, Kim ran and coordinated free after school and summer programming for children and youth in the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park (KGO) and Agincourt neighbourhoods. Kim is a mature student studying part-time towards a Bachelor of Social Work at Ryerson University. As part of a work-study position at Ryerson, Kim supported research and campaign efforts related to implementing Prison-Based Needle and Syringe Programs (PNSPs) in Canada.
OHRN endeavours to include people who use drugs in all aspects of our work. This includes consulting on development of resources and in the delivery of training and educational sessions. We will list people involved with our work here as we formalize our relationships with them.
Previously known as the Ontario HIV and Substance Training Program (OHSUTP), the program has evolved over several years. Initially housed at the former Addiction Research Foundation (this became part of CAMH), OHSUTP was formed to increase understanding amongst addiction service providers about how to better support people living with, or at risk for, HIV/AIDS. As the program grew OHSUTP expanded its audiences to include other health and social service providers and broaden the scope of training topics covered to include HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C (HCV), and basic harm reduction philosophy and practice. However, a number of things changed and it was time to re-focus our work, audiences and approaches to supporting service providers.
As a provincial organization, it is critical that we keep up with the needs and demands of our audiences. We continue to evolve and adapt with the changing climate of Ontario, the latest emerging trends of substance use, and the science and research that is changing how to speak about HIV and HCV transmission in the context of drug use and harm reduction.
We noticed that the majority of requests for training were focusing on drug use and harm reduction, with fewer requests for HIV and HCV. We also identified the need for more in-depth, ‘second level’, harm reduction training, as well as more focussed information and resources on specific substances, overdose awareness and prevention, and addressing current needs of frontline harm reduction workers. Technology also changed, allowing more content and networking opportunities to be delivered online, not just in-person.
With this in mind, OHSUTP changed its name to the Ontario Harm Reduction Network (OHRN) with a greater focus on issues regarding substance use and harm reduction and less time specifically on HIV and HCV – we include content on HIV and HCV as a part of discussion, but not the primary focus, and have developed an “Introduction to HIV” online course. We will also be working with a more defined audience and delivering fewer in-person trainings. This will allow us to develop broader regional networking events, spend more time supporting the Harm Reduction Outreach Network HRON, and engage more workers using online learning and webinars.
Toronto Research Group on Drug Use
Was is chaired by Toronto Public Health and includes participants from diverse health and social services to share information on illicit drug use in Toronto from multiple sources. It conducts monthly meetings of local members to share information on current & emerging trends
Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) represents over 220 addiction and mental health organizations in Ontario.
HIV Resources Ontario
HIV Resources Ontario is a collaborative of resource programs and organizations mandated by the AIDS Bureau to build the capacity of the HIV sector in Ontario by delivering trainings, workshops, materials, and organizational development supports.
OHRDP provides harm reduction supplies and educational materials to Needle Syringe Programs across Ontario.
The Ontario Harm Reduction Network is committed to providing resources and services that are accessible to all, regardless of ability. This includes a commitment to making our website more accessible for all users. We are aware that some visitors may still encounter barriers when accessing content on our website, especially when using assistive technologies to access PDF files.
If you encounter any problems with our website or accessing content, please contact us or call us toll free at 1-866-591-0347. We recognize that maintaining an accessible website is an ongoing process and we welcome feedback from our users.
Online Introduction to HIV Course – comments from participants
“I would like to thank you for offering such an informative and touching course. The brave people whom shared their stories are truly courageous and I appreciate all of them sharing. In particular, I was very moved by Rene’s story.”
“I found the training very informative and enjoyed going at my own pace. I especially liked the peer videos that described how it all effects real people in real life. Thank you for offering this training for free.”
Methamphetamine Webinars – comments from participants
“As someone who has never done meth, the input from someone who uses crystal meth was super valuable. The volume of information was excellent, and the fact that you included links and references to other resources so we could go deeper on our own.”
“I am really excited to share this resource with my collegues and other service organizations. As well as reviewing some of the exsisting information we provide and using the resources provided to compliment what we provide to clients. Thank you so much!”
“Being able to better understand and talk about crystal meth. We don’t hear about it a lot in the North, but I feel better prepared for those times when people do talk about it.”