Gerstein Crisis Centre recognizes that inequities in access to health care are prevalent for those who use substances. These disparities are further exacerbated when there are barriers to the social determinants of health, including inadequate housing, poverty, unemployment and the lack of social support. Concurrent issues of mental health and substance use lead to further inequities and gaps.
We believe that harm reduction is part of a comprehensive health-care response to the health and social harms experienced by people who use substances. The harm reduction framework which provides the foundation of our work emphasizes our commitment to treating all people with respect, dignity and compassion. We work with people wherever they are on the continuum of substance use, and support them to move toward their goals. It is a non-judgmental approach that accepts the person as they are and their right to make choices.