“From Grief to Action began in the late 1990’s as a group of people on the west side of Vancouver who were struggling with the tragedy of having a family member or friend suffering from addiction to illicit drugs. We met at St. Mary’s Church in Kerrisdale to support each other in our feelings of shame, perceived guilt, helplessness and grief. After about a year, during which we invited speakers to come and help us shed some light on our situation, we realised that it wasn’t just the disease that was the problem, but a complex web of public attitudes, lack of treatment, overworked professionals and a lack of understanding at all levels of the seriousness of the problem in our society. We wondered whether as a special “interest group”, we could perhaps reach out to the community – and to the media and politicians – to raise awareness of this increasingly pervasive issue. We decided to move “from grief to action”.
An official society was formed in 1999, just as Philip Owen, Mayor of Vancouver, was bringing in the Four Pillars Approach to address the explosion of drug use and overdoses in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. From Grief to Action brought a new face to addiction: throwing light on a problem which knows no socio-economic boundaries, and can happen in any family. The early years were very busy: holding several public meetings, making presentations to countless groups and organisations, including schools, neighbourhood houses, government officials, parliamentary committees, etc. A documentary called “From Grief to Action” followed the lives of four families from the group: it aired on CBC’s “The Passionate Eye” originally in November 2002 and then several times thereafter, with family members answering questions at special screenings. A “Coping Kit” was launched, written especially for parents and families who are struggling with addiction, which suggests ideas and strategies for helping with the day-to-day issues. This is now in its third edition. FGTA cooperates on a regular basis with professionals working in the field and members have spoken at several conferences. Members of the current Board represent From Grief to Action on the B.C. Alliance on Mental Health and Addictions, the Community Action Initiative, and YADA (Youth Alcohol and Drugs Agencies). A support group called “Parents Forever” provides regular and organized support for family members. Hardly a day goes past when our website is not contacted by some family looking for advice and support. “
For more detailed information please view our Annual Reports.