MSTH began with a need to speak out about the ongoing drug poisoning crisis. MSTH co-founders Lorna Thomas and Petra Schulz, both from Edmonton, and Leslie McBain, from Pender Island, BC first met in 2015. They met after a report about the death of Petra’s son Danny, from an accidental fentanyl overdose, appeared in the Edmonton Journal. Lorna reached out to Petra because her son Alex had died by suicide after struggling with mental health and substance use. Leslie’s son Jordan Miller died from an overdose after becoming opioid dependent on prescription drugs.
They started to work together in August 2015 but did not form Moms Stop The Harm until April 2016, after Lorna and Leslie returned from a trip to New York where they attended the United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions (UNGASS) on drug policy. What began as an advocacy initiative by three concerned mothers is now a network of over 1000 Canadian families from coast, to coast to coast.
Milestone Advocacy Activities and Events
October 2019: Documentary: Flood - The Overdose Epidemic in Canada
2019 September: My sister died alone at the age of 18. Zoe might be alive today! MSTH families spoke out in support of SCS in Alberta during the governments review of these essential health services.
2019 May: Harm Reduction International Conference, Portugal https://www.hri.global/conference-2019
2018 November: Documentary PainKiller - Inside the Opioid Crisis https://youtu.be/nLrUHrpjd2o
2018 October: MSTH at Stimulus Conference Edmonton, AB October 2018
2018 September: MSTH presentation at the Government of Canada Opioid Symposium in Toronto https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/opioid-symposium-what-we-heard-report-march-2019.html
2018 August 31: MSTH participated in and organized IOAD events in several Canadian Communities
2018 June: #MSTH #DecriminalizeNow Rally in Victoria, BC and Leslie McBain – #MSTH #DecriminalizeNow Rally and Rally to #decriminalizenow and #endthestigma of substance use, Victoria, BC June 23, 2018
March 2018: See-Beyond anti-stigma campaign “This is what we’d say if only we still had the chance. Please read.” https://www.see-beyond.ca/
2017 November: Do Something Prime Minister Photo Campaign
2017 November: MSTH representatives participated in round table discussions with the Federal Minister of Health Ginette Petipas-Taylor during the CCSA Meeting in Calgary
2017 August 31: MSTH participated in and organized IOAD events in several Canadian communities
2016 August 31: MSTH participated in IOAD events in several communities in BC and AB