The Tailgate Toolkit Project is an innovative program aimed at increasing access to harm reduction services and ideas for those working in the construction industry.
After successful partnerships with Island Health in 2017 & 2021, the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) is excited to expand their harm reduction program provincially, with the support of the Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions.
The precedent for this project comes from the 2018 BC Coroner’s Report “Illicit Drug Overdose Deaths in BC: Findings of Coroners’ Investigations” which investigated demographic trends among those who had lost their lives to a drug poisoning event. The construction, trades, and transport industry are overrepresented – of the 44% of people who were employed at the time of their death 55% worked in our industry.
The Tailgate Toolkit Harm Reduction Program was formed after an extensive stakeholder engagement process, consisting of interviews with tradesfolk with lived experience with substance use, as well as input from the Tailgate Toolkit Project Steering Committee. The Stakeholder Engagement Report can be found online, here.
The Tailgate Toolkit Project consists of four components; on-site/virtual toolbox talks, supervisory training for site and company leaders, an industry support group, and extensive, region-specific resource guides for folks working in the construction/trades industry.
Funding for the Tailgate Toolkit is provided by the Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions, The Canadian Mental Health Association (BC Divison), and the Community Action Initiative