This has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.
Almost nine years ago, I founded GPDOTS after losing my brother Josh to an accidental opioid overdose. My motivation was out of a place of grief in the hopes my advocacy could prevent another family from experiencing what mine had. GPDOTS quickly grew (not the way I planned or wanted) but because the crisis had impacted so many others. Since Josh’s death, the crisis has evolved dramatically with the introduction of illicit fentanyl and an increasingly toxic street drug market. The work demands necessary to advocate effectively have increased with time.
I have come to terms with the fact that I have reached the point of burn out advocating for action on the opioid crisis. After some personal and family health matters, the loss of my step-father, and my daughter who needs me now more than ever, it has highlighted how vital self-care and family is. I have concluded I cannot keep a healthy work/life balance and continue to be president of GPDOTS. After expressing this to GPDOTS board of directors, we have decided to dissolve as a not for profit.
I would like to thank all of our past and present board members for your tireless dedication and support, the people who protested with us in the streets, the families who have shared their stories and attended town halls, MLA Leo Glavine for getting us a seat at the table with policymakers when we were first starting out, our donors (especially Corey Zwickers family and their annual fundraiser), and all of our allies who continue to advocate. I would also like to thank all the journalists we have worked with who have given us a medium to share our message.
Our remaining funds of $2042.00 will be donated to the new Halifax Overdose Prevention Site, HaliFIX to support their overhead costs. Thank you to Matt Bonn (HaliFIX), Cindy Macisaac (Direction 180), Diane Bailey (Mainline), HANDUP, and all of their teams for working tirelessly to make this healthcare service come to fruition.
This issue will always be close to my heart, and I will always lend my voice to this cause, just in a different way moving forward ♥️