A local collective of community health advocates have come together to form the SACH Community Hub to support Surrey’s diverse communities impacted by acute and emerging health challenges.
SACH will bring together support services for communities most impacted by socioeconomic factors, mental health challenges, and addiction, in the Newton region of Surrey, according to a press release.
Fraser Health Authority’s recent Chief Medical Health Officer’s Report stated that South Asian men represented 77% of the overdose cases in 2017. Although South Asians have high proportions of representation in Surrey (33%), Abbotsford (25%), and Delta (20%), this statistic is shockingly high.
“Many of the available supports lack a tailored response that meet the specific needs of every single member of our community,” says SACH Director Upkar Singh Tatlay.
“SACH follows a unique model aimed at reducing barriers faced by diverse communities in accessing health and social services. We envision that SACH will provide a one-stop solution with relevant services available in culturally and linguistically appropriate formats, while using client-centered and family-focused approaches,” says SACH Director Allysha Ram.
Drug toxicity deaths in the South Asian population increased by 255% between 2015 and 2018 compared to 138% among other residents in the Fraser Health Region. The number increased from 20 fatalities a year to 80.
“SACH plans to offer a variety of health and social supports, including connecting clients to services related to substance use treatment and harm reduction, counselling, medical services, income assistance, employment, food security, housing, personal hygiene, immigration, recreation, and victim services; while also providing opportunities for social connection and volunteering,” says SACH Director Jassy Pandher. The services will be available to individuals as well as their families.
“While there is no simple solution to these complex issues, this group has the experience, and most importantly the drive, to advocate for and support populations that all too often fall through the gaps,” says SACH Director Gary Thandi.
For the past several months, SACH has been actively engaging with stakeholders in the community, including the various levels of government.
“The need for a hub that can provide much needed meaningful support and recovery is there and has been there for years in our community. I’m thankful and grateful that this diverse group of caring people have come together to offer a solution,” says Aman Singh, civil rights lawyer and MLA for Richmond-Queensborough, who is also active in the recovery community.
Other members of the SACH Board of Directors include Harman Singh Pandher, Anita Lal, and Larry Jhaj.
SACH is raising funds for an outreach office that would be open to anyone who identifies a need, especially those who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, struggling with addiction, mental health or socioeconomic challenges.
To learn more about SACH Community Hub, visit www.sachbc.ca and social media pages at @sach_bc. For general inquiries, to donate or to be a sponsor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.