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The Government of Yukon launches a new backpack initiative to support individuals in need

Press Release


The Government of Yukon has unveiled the “Support is Here for You” Backpack Project, a new initiative intended to provide personal care items for direct assistance and community support to individuals experiencing substance use issues.

This project is part of the Government of Yukon’s commitment to respond to the Substance Use Health Emergency by taking bold and innovative actions, including prevention, harm reduction efforts and collaborative programming with partner organizations.

The project entails distributing 200 backpacks filled with practical and personal items such as:

  • first aid kits;
  • warm socks;
  • snacks and basic hygiene products; and
  • selected print materials on treatment, harm reduction, drug safety tips and essential services.

All items have been carefully chosen to address basic needs while fostering a sense of security and comfort.

In Whitehorse, distribution will be handled through Blood Ties Four Directions. In other communities, Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services staff in Community Health Centres will help distribute the backpacks to clients.

The “Support is Here for You” Backpack Project is part of a larger, more holistic approach to address substance use in the Yukon by directly connecting individuals with resources and services that can assist them in the long- term.

Together with our partner, Blood Ties Four Directions, we are providing support directly to Yukoners who need it most. The “Support is Here for You” Backpack Project goes beyond practical aid and essential resources; it extends comfort and support to Yukoners experiencing substance use issues. These types of support are essential for providing immediate help, reducing hardship and fostering community care for people in our communities. This initiative underscores our ongoing commitment to many bold and innovative approaches in response to the Substance Use Health Emergency.

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

Quick facts

  • Whitehorse is receiving 110 backpacks, while Dawson City and Watson Lake are receiving 15 each and Haines Junction is receiving 10. Other communities will each receive 5 backpacks.
  • The distribution method puts essential support directly into the hands of individuals in need, providing immediate help and comfort and reducing hardship.
  • Controlled distribution at select locations will help support efficient and targeted dispersal.
  • The project’s success and potential future implementations will be evaluated based on feedback from communities and Blood Ties Four Directions.

Media contact

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications

Thibaut Rondel
Communications, Health and Social Services


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