Substance Use

Community Action Teams Knowledge Exchange

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Community Action Teams Knowledge Exchange

Community Action Teams (CATs) are an integral part of responding to the overdose crisis in BC. The CAT Knowledge Exchange will connect all 35 CATs throughout BC to share learning and accelerate local work to address the overdose crisis.

Community Action Teams (CATs) are funded by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions for the purpose of helping communities form partnerships and strategies to address the overdose crisis at a local level.1  The objectives of CATs are to create evidence-informed action plans, develop multi-sectoral responses that are inclusive of all partners and escalate barriers to effective response to the provincial level as needed.2

We successfully submitted a proposal to the Overdose Emergency Response Center to coordinate and host a knowledge exchange with the aim of bringing CATs together to learn from each other’s successes and challenges.

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Knowledge Exchange

The CAT knowledge exchange aims to accelerate local action being taken to address the overdose crisis through increased connection among and between CATs. Virtual learning and networking between October 2020 and March 2021 will aim to build skills and relationships locally, regionally and provincially.

The Knowledge Exchange contains several parts:

  1. Peer Virtual Facilitator Training focuses on capacity building in a virtual setting for a minimum of two Peer Facilitators from each CAT. See training agenda here.
  2. Knowledge Exchange Event, is open and inclusive to all CAT members from across the province, and will focus on holding space for peer voices and leadership, including a panel and networking. See event agenda here.
  3. Monthly webinars after the main event will be held to keep the conversations and connections going! More details to come.

This initiative is funded by the Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions and guided by a provincial advisory group of diverse individuals who represent CATs and includes people with lived and/or living experience.

Self Care & Safety for Online Events

Events can be dynamic, exciting places to learn and meet other people. However, we recognize that they can also be draining, especially in the virtual world, and we are striving to create safe virtual spaces. You can check out our full

Virtual Safety Plan – this resource offers some guidance for taking care of yourself before, during and after a virtual event.

One-pager on the Safety & Support Space – outlines what supports were available during the event.


Frequently Asked Questions

See the answers to some of our frequently asked questions below! Can’t find what you were looking for? Email

CAT Knowledge Exchange Information Package

This event is free for all participants! In fact, peers will be compensated for their time to participate.

We have allocated the same amount of funding for each CAT. Once your CAT registers, we will work with whoever is coordinating finances for your CAT to get a funding letter signed and an invoice complete. Once CATs have received the money, it will be up to CATs to ensure that peers receive that appropriate compensation in the format that works best for them (e.g., gift cards).

We have allocated the same amount of funding for each CAT. Once your CAT registers, we will work with whoever is coordinating finances for your CAT to get a funding letter signed and an invoice complete. Once CATs have received the money, it will be up to CATs to ensure that peers receive that appropriate compensation in the format that works best for them (e.g., gift cards).

We will transfer the money to CATs and then peers will be paid through their CATs. We recognize that each CAT has a different set up and different processes to remunerate their peers.

Funding must cover compensating participating peers for their time at the rate of $25/hour.

2 peers x 8 hours x $25/hour = $400

The remaining amount can be allocated depending on the specific needs and wants of your CAT. Some suggestions are:

  • Supporting more peers to attend all or part of the event and compensating them for their time.
  • Offering additional compensation to peers to apply and practice their new skills during a follow-up local CAT meeting.
  • Addressing any accessibility needs of peers.
  • Renting a space for peers and other CAT members to sign in and participate from (as per COVID guidelines).
  • Covering any child or elder care to ensure that peers are able to participate.
  • Providing food and/or coffee for peers during the knowledge exchange.
  • Purchasing a Zoom account that the CAT can use following the knowledge exchange ($200/annually).

We are open to discussing other suggestions for how to best use this funding to foster peer leadership in the virtual world. Ultimately, your CAT has autonomy to decide what makes the most sense for your CAT and peers.

If you do not need the $2000 to support involvement in the knowledge exchange, we recommend identifying ways to support peer leadership with your CAT in the virtual world. For example, purchasing a Zoom license that peers could allow them to practice and apply what they learn during this knowledge exchange, or investing it in additional peer time to support local skill sharing in your community CAT work.

Please identify a minimum of two peers to participate in the Peer Virtual Facilitator Training. We hope that peers will work together to apply their learning within their CATs.

More than two peers from your CAT can participate, however the amount of funding available to your CAT will not change. We are happy to make space for more peers to join, but we are relying on CAT Coordinators/CATs to support peers locally to fully participate. This means ensuring that all peers who attend will be compensated and have the technological access they need.

We recognize that there are many peers who are heavily involved in their community who are not currently part of their local CAT. This event is intended for peers and others involved in CATs to be able to share and learn from each other. As such, we respectfully request that peer facilitators have some current involvement in their CAT.

Ultimately, it is at the discretion of your CAT to decide which peer facilitators will attend. If you feel that peers who are not currently involved in your CAT have the potential to become involved through participating in this knowledge exchange, we respect that decision and hope you will be able to work together to increase participation and apply these skills in the future.

There is no limit – all CAT members are welcome to attend the Knowledge Exchange Event on Thursday, October 29!

If possible, please provide an estimate of how many people from your CAT will be participating either when registering or by emailing This will help us plan accordingly

No, you can register right away and identify your peers later on when confirmed.

Sign Up for the CAT Knowledge Exchange Newsletter

Fill out the form below to stay informed about our work, events and learning opportunities. You will receive updates on the CAT Knowledge Exchange that originate from our provider, CyberImpact, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Questions? Contact us at

The BC Patient Safety & Quality Council will collect personal information under section 26 (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purposes of distributing newsletters. If you have any questions about the collection of your personal information please contact: Kevin Smith at 604.668.8213.


  1. Community Action Initiative. Community Action Teams [Internet]. BC; 2020. Available from:
  2. Government of British Columbia. Overdose Emergency Response Centre Terms of Reference [Internet]. BC; 2017 Nov 20. Available from:

Key Contact

Kate Harris
Leader, Health System Improvement