Mayoral candidate Jim Cessford has announced his slate’s plan to handle the opioid crisis.
In a press release issued on Monday, Oct. 1, Cessford and the Independents Working for You slate committed to taking on the “complex and challenging” issue.
“It is more difficult than merely offering treatment or policing drug enforcement. Many people fall through the cracks in our health system,” Cessford said in the press release. “Some of the cases I have been involved with are individuals with concurrent disorders; drug addiction and mental illness. When they are in crisis these folks ping-pong between services that are not set up for both.”
If elected in October, the slate plans to partner with Fraser Health to access experts and develop resources to share that expertise throughout Delta, as well as foster a relationship with a non-profit to construct a safe overnight facility that supports transitioning people into treatment.
“If the city can’t fill the service gaps, we sure can be part of the solution,” Cessford said. “We need to be a positive partner who builds bridges between our community, governments, Fraser Health, mental health and addition specialist groups, police, fire and emergency services, and fosters the growth of non-profits who offer a holistic approach to addiction.”
The slate also plans to work with the school board and district; Delta’s parks, recreation and culture department; and local service groups to educate both youth and parents about prevention and support services.
“The city can play a vital role as a resource, sharing our facilities and acting as a network connector between agencies and communities,” Cessford said. “The city must play an active role to protect these valuable lives and to care for the families impacted.”