Amid the opioid crisis in British Columbia, there is an organization looking out for those helping the most vulnerable members of society.
The Provincial Overdose Mobile Response Team (MRT) provides psychosocial support and training to organizations and agencies working within the opioid crisis. For a year and a half, MRT has been promoting self-care to first responders and frontline workers.
“It’s trauma-filled work that they do,” Crisis Intervention Specialist, Donna Huywan said. “There is stigma due to their line of work, but it’s been an honour to provide support for them.”
In May 2018, WCCMT partnered with MRT to establish a special Inreach as part of the school’s clinic practicum. Every Monday afternoon, frontline workers and first responders receive complimentary massage therapy treatments (funded by MRT) from WCCMT students.
Huywan, who is a big believer in the benefits of massage therapy, reached out to WCCMT because she thought massage therapy would be a great service to add to MRT since, “it is an amazing asset to self-care.”
The response from those taking advantage of the service has been that of excitement and gratitude. Huywan has received a lot of positive feedback, especially from those who are causal or volunteer workers who normally would not have been able to afford massage therapy.
“When they walk out with a smile and they say that they’ve traveled from all over the Lower Mainland to come, you know it’s worth it.”
Other MRT services include Frontline Fitness in Aldergrove, Frontline Yoga in Delta and Ladner, and Frontline Fight Club, a group boxing class in Vancouver.