On Saturday, Gelja Sheardown, along with local agencies, were shining light on the local opioid crisis. Find out more here.

Saturday, we were at the Owen Sound Farmer’s Market with community partners from Grey Bruce Health Unit and Safe ‘N Sound along with Gelja Shearwood who had lost her husband Barrett Warwick one year ago to a fentanyl overdose. We thank everyone who came by to remember and pay tribute to Barrett and all those lost to overdose. Those who wanted could walk around the block and and could toss a carnation into the river in memory of far too many lives that have been lost. The community support meant a lot to us all and it was great seeing folks come by and pick up harm reduction kits as well.

Our thanks go out to Gelja whose bravery is shining a light on our local opioid crisis.

Also on hand was Gelja’s sister Sara Sheardown, Katrina Phillips (GBHU), Romina (Safe ‘N Sound), Kayla Evangelho (Safe ‘N Sound) and Francesca Dobbyn (UWBG).

Grey Bruce Public Health have confirmed that there were 16 fatal overdoes in Grey-Bruce in 2019 and 18 in 2020 (January to November). So far in 2021, there have been at least 7 fatal overdoes (pending coroner confirmation).

If you are struggling with substance abuse, please know that you don’t have to go through this alone. You and your life matter and despite how things may feel right now, things can and will get better.

If you need help, please reach out to:

  • 211: Call 211 to connect with addiction and mental health programs near you. 211 is free, confidential and available 24/7.
  • Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce:
  • Owen Sound: 519-371-8850
  • Bruce Shoreline Team (Southampton/Port Elgin and area: 519-797-2880
  • North Bruce Team (Wiarton and area): 519-534-4388
  • South Grey Team (Markdale and area): 519-986-3030
  • If in crisis, call the CMHA 24 hour Crisis Line at 1-877-470-5200.
  • For all emergencies, call 911.