Programming Connection

Ontario Hepatitis C Team: Sanguen Health Centre  

Sanguen Health Centre
Waterloo and Guelph, Ontario
2014

Challenges

Sanguen staff face a number of ongoing challenges when doing their work:

  1. Stigma. Stigma related to drug use and hepatitis C continues to impact both clients and service providers. This can be a challenge when clients or service providers acting on their behalf seek other psychosocial or health services in the community.
  2. Slow progress. Working with people who may be street involved, who may be living with addiction and who may lead chaotic lives may mean that client progress is incremental. Service providers may be challenged when clients do not make changes in their substance use, for example, as quickly as they hoped or do not make healthy decisions.
  3. Engaging hard-to-reach clients. It is critical that Sanguen reach out to as many people who may be using drugs or living with hepatitis C as possible. Staff have experienced challenges engaging clients in one community where no obvious network of people who use drugs exists. One way that Sanguen has tried to improve client engagement has been to be out in the community as much as possible, in other venues and on the street, and to be persistent with engagement, building trust with clients over months and sometimes years.