Research Projects


The Unlocking the Gates (UTG) Peer Health Mentoring Program

Status: Active

Project Lead: Helen Brown

Other: Mo Korchinski, THJRC's Project Coordinator:

Currently, people leaving prisons face concurrent risks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the overdose public health emergency. The closure or reduction of community services people rely on after release such as treatment centres and shelters has exacerbated the risks of poor health outcomes and harms. This on-going project aims to learn from peer health mentors (PHM) about changes to their work during overlapping health emergencies, as well as barriers and opportunities to support people leaving prison in this context.

The Unlocking the Gates (UTG) Peer Health Mentoring Program supports people leaving prison in British Columbia during the first three days after release. Additionally, PHM illuminates ways that COVID-19 has exacerbated existing barriers and identified specific actions needed to support client health, including increased housing and recovery beds, and tools for social and emotional well-being. This project is supported by UBC THJRC.