WOW Festival in Canada

Canadian associate member CAPSA hosts annual Working On Wellness (WOW) Festival to promote inclusive and integrated models of care

WOW Festival

Working on Wellness (WOW) Festival – Substance use health, mental health and physical health – image: event’s flyer, CAPSA

WOW was created with the purpose of modelling accessible, inclusive and integrated systems of care that support the health of the wider population of people living in Canada. Integrated care reflects all aspects of a person’s health and is an essential model in all health systems and communities to meet the needs of people seeking care. WOW brings leaders from national organizations and over 100 community partners from Physical Health, Mental Health and Substance Use Health services, together under one tent. It is a day to connect, learn and commit to eliminating stigma and barriers to care.

Working On Wellness builds upon the success from its previous event, known as Recovery Day Ottawa, that was held since 2013. CAPSA made the important decision to officially change the name of our longstanding event to reflect a journey of learning, by understanding that the term recovery can have different meanings to many people; it is often understood as abstinence only.

From Barriers to Integration

Many people in Canada use substances along a spectrum and will continue to use substances. In fact, 78% of people over the age of 15, living in Canada, use substances. CAPSA supports equitable health systems that have many pathways to improve health outcomes and do not require that individuals meet certain diagnostic criteria to access these services. This evolution opens the door to be more inclusive by using an All People All Pathways™ approach that promotes and celebrates all pathways to wellness and provides opportunities for equitable access to knowledge and information of services.

This year’s WOW event, welcomes more than 100 community partners and for the first time, is happening in conjunction with Carleton University’s second annual STAR Symposium – Using a Substance Use Health lens to transform research, policy and practice for people living in Canada.

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