This initiative aims to facilitate the engagement of people with lived experience (PWLE) throughout Canada by enhancing national peer networks. Participants engage in implementation science projects and identify advocacy priorities to converge on a national set of actions to address the opioid crisis.
VIEW THE GROUP'S PAST AND ONGOING PROJECTS
PWLE NATIONAL WORKING GROUP MEMBERS
Brandi Abele, CAPUD
Brandi is an advocate for the rights of current and former drug users to be treated as full citizens and human beings in Saskatchewan. She completed training as an addictions counselor (diploma) in 2012, and worked in the Northern community of La Loche from winter 2012 -2016, on both abstinence-based programs and developing harm reduction strategies in the context of a rural, Indigenous community. Brandi is a national board member with the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs.
Matthew Bonn, CAPUD & CSSDP
Matthew is the program coordinator of the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs, national board member with the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and is a knowledge translator for the Dr. Peters Centre. Matt was one of the cofounders of HaliFIX Overdose Prevention Society which implemented Atlantic Canada’s first Overdose Prevention Site. Matt is also a Canadian Editorial Consultant with Filter – Magazine a nonprofit media outlet based out of New York. As well as a freelance writer with By Lines in Policy Options, Doctors Nova Scotia, Talking Drugs, CATIE, The Coast and The Conversation. Matt has a business marketing diploma and he is a 3rd year student for Business Commerce at St. Mary’s University.
Frank Crichlow, COUNTERfit, keepSIX
Frank Crichlow has been a harm reduction worker for over 12 years with COUNTERfit harm reduction program at South Riverdale Community Health Centre. In his role at COUNTERfit he provides both on and off-site harm reduction education, referrals and distribution. Frank works at both SRCHC’s safe consumption service (keepSIX) and volunteered with the Toronto Overdose Prevention Site at both Moss Park and Parkdale unsanctioned sites. He helped to start and still works at the Riverdale Men’s Group, a wellness program at SRCHC. Frank is a member of the Stigma & Discrimination Group, the Strategic Implementation Panel and the Drug Policy Committee of the Toronto Drug Strategy, Toronto Public Health. He is a member of the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism committee. He is the Chair of the Toronto Drug Users Union and a member of the Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance and on the Board of the Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs. Frank has spoken on issues of harm reduction for a variety of audiences and venues including academic conferences, research ethics boards and community workshops.
Alexandra de Kiewit, CAPUD
Alexandra worked for five years at Association Québécoise pour la promotion de la santé des personnes utilisatrices de drogues (AQPSUD), she now works at Cactus’ supervised injection site and she is a facilitator for PLDI (Positive Leadership Development Institute) in Quebec.
Sean was born in Nova Scotia and arrived in Ottawa in 2000 and survived an opioid dependency, homelessness and incarceration. After facing diversity he founded the Drug Users Advocacy League in 2010. Sean later was the co-Principal Investigator of the PROUD Study: Participatory Research in Ottawa Understanding Drugs -at the time the largest community cohort study in Ontario. Sean is dedicated to improving the quality of lives of people who use drugs. Shawn loves his long term partner Catherine, and being from the maritimes.