August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day – Here is What BFO-MR Is Doing


In commemoration of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2020, we are launching an education campaign during the month of August. We hope to reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with deaths by substance use, build awareness and educate the community about the impact it can have on individuals and families who are grieving, and promote access to supports. 

Each week through the month of August, our education campaign will focus on various aspects of substance use and the grief associated with this type of death. We will be discussing 

August 4-7: Stigma and the importance of language 

August 10-14: Complicated grief and how it relates to deaths by substance use 

August 17-21: Member stories and finding meaning 

August 24-28: Resources, supports and International Overdose Awareness Day events 

 All of our campaign and discussion materials will be available through our social media channels (@BFOMR on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and weekly emails through the month of August.  

 So, How Can You Get Involved? 

Attend one of our ‘Death by Substance Use and Community Impact’ Virtual Workshops: 

Tuesday, August 4 – Idea Exchange (Cambridge Library), 7pm 

Tuesday, August 11 – Kitchener Public Library, 7pm 

Monday, August 17 – Waterloo Public Library7pm 

Tuesday, August 25 – Guelph Public Library, 7pm 

Send Us Photos of Your Loved Ones for Our Memorial Page 

We are inviting you, the community, to submit a photo in honour of the people in your lives who have died by substance use. The image can be a photo of the person, an item that represents them or just their name. These images will be featured on a memorial page on our website which will be launched publicly on August 31, 2020. Watch for more information about this, coming soon.  

Be Part of the Conversation and Help us Spread the Word 

You can help amplify our voice! Follow the campaign on our social media channelsshare our posts, tell your story and be part of the conversation.  

Use the Hashtags 




 Follow and Engage with These Community Resources 

  • Waterloo Region Integrated Drugs Strategy (@DrugStrategyWR) 
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) 
  • Sanguen (@SanguenHepC) 
  • Wellington Guelph Drugs Strategy (@WGDrugStrategy) 
  • House of Friendship (@hofwatreg) 
  • Ray of Hope (@ROH_1967) 
  • Stonehenge (@StonehengeTC) 
  • Thresholds (@Welcome2THS) 
  • Lutherwood (@Lutherwood) Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre (@KDCHC) 
  • Cambridge Food Bank (@CambFoodBank) 
  • One Roof (@oneROOFYouth) 
  • Waterloo Regional Police Services (@WRPSToday) 

Our International Overdose Awareness Day Education Campaign is made possible with support from the Cambridge & North Dumfries Community FoundationOur education workshops are generously supported by the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation – Weiland Family Fund and ware fortunate to be able to provide peer grief support for individuals in our community who are grieving a death by substance use because of the generosity of the Ontario Trillium FoundationWe thank you for what you are helping make possible.  

At Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region, educating the community about grief is an important part of our mission. Through grief literacy initiatives like this International Overdose Awareness Day education campaign, we normalize the experience, encourage empathy and understanding, and create more compassionate communities for all. Thank you for being a part of this vital work.