Pubdate: Tue, 04 Dec 2007
Source: Community Press, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 Community Press
Author: Janet Richards
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


Belleville - Downtown Belleville's needle exchange program has a new
home at the Belleville Freedom Support Centre effective this week.

The program moved as a result of the closure of the Front Street
Shopper's Drug Mart store.

The Belleville Freedom Support Centre is one of five in Hastings and
Prince Edward Counties managed by the Mental Health Support Network.
The support centres are run by and for people with lived experience
with mental health and/or addictions issues. The Belleville Freedom
Support Centre offers peer support, education, one dollar lunches, and
recreational activities and resources on a drop-in basis.

Elisabeth Ziegler, area site coordinator for the centre, said the
needle exchange program is a good fit with the Freedom Support Centre,
and staff and patrons were included in the decision to take on the

"It's super, really," Ziegler said. "It's a natural extension of what
we do."

Ziegler said addiction and mental health issues can be related with
some people self-medicating. She said anyone is welcome at the centre
and visitors are not required to disclose personal

Ziegler noted the needle exchange programs in Hastings and Prince
Edward counties had 1,500 contacts and the downtown Belleville
Shopper's Drug Mart location was dealing with about six needle
exchanges each day.

The Belleville Freedom Support Centre is located at 350 Front St.,
Unit C3. Anyone interested in further information can call
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