Kayla DeMong and Barb Fornssler discuss the need for harm reduction-based supports in our community. With the recent increase in overdoses, closure of many organizations and barriers in supporting our homeless population we need to continue to look at how programs can adapt to ensure people in our community have the supports to be safe. 


  • Kayla DeMong, Associate Executive Director & Family Support Coordinator AIDS Saskatoon; Sheltering Branch Director, Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19
  • Barb Fornssler, Adjunct, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan;
    Knowledge Translation and Exchange coordinator, Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Prairie Node.

Take Your Learning Further:

Thank you to Dr. Barb Fornssler for generously compiling the following list of resources on harm reduction and COVID-19:

  • Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) website: https://www.drugpolicy.ca/covid-19-harm-reduction-resources/
    *A compilation of resources from across Canada emphasizing harm reduction practices during COVID-19
  • Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) website: https://www.ccsa.ca/Impacts-COVID-19-Substance-Use
    *Canada’s national substance use agency. CCSA provides updated information about the impacts of COVID-19 on substance use.
  • Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs (CAPUD) website resources: https://capud.ca/resources
    *Canada’s national advocacy body for people who use drugs. Resources provided at the site include discussion of ‘safe supply’ and what this means, along with harm reduction and political advocacy resources. 
  • Thunderbird Partnership Foundation (TPF) website COVID-19 resources: https://thunderbirdpf.org/covid-19/

*TPF is the leading Indigenous wellness and substance use agency. They support the NNADAP and YSAP treatment centres across the country, along with broader community wellness work. Their focus is traditional cultural supports for healing.

*This is a great site for global resources and connection to the Harm Reduction Journal. Might be particularly useful for people to have a read through the principles and goals of harm reduction. 

See a few resources & tools that were referenced during the conversation:

  • Explore the Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19
  • Learn more about AIDS Saskatoon, a community-based, harm-reduction organization, dedicated to providing support, prevention and education services for people living with, affected by, and vulnerable to HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis C (HCV) in central and northern Saskatchewan.
  • Visit com part of the BC Centre for Disease Control, Harm Reduction Services.
  • Explore the Youth Action for Prevention (YAP), a youth-focused FASD prevention initiative that encourages young people to create resources and projects that raise awareness of FASD and other alcohol-related harms among the peers.

Read the B.C. plan to provide safe supply of drugs during COVID-19 pandemic.