A new online training resource is now available to help mental health and addictions service providers better identify and support people who have been – or are being—trafficked.
In Canada more than 1,200 incidents of human trafficking were reported to the police between 2009 and 2016. Two thirds of these reports occurred in Ontario.
It is common for people who are trafficked to develop mental health and addiction problems.
“The research tells us people who’ve been trafficked tend to have interactions with the health care system, but are often not identified,” said Branka Agic, Director of Knowledge Exchange, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. “Some groups are more at risk of human trafficking, including youth, temporary migrant workers, and Indigenous people.”
Dr. Agic’s team adapted the training from an existing, more general human trafficking training. To ensure Indigenous issues and perspectives were incorporated, they worked closely with PSSP’s Aboriginal Engagement and Outreach team.
The self-directed course takes two to three hours to complete. Service providers work through five modules designed to fit into their diverse and busy schedules. It covers the types and indicators of human trafficking and its impacts.
Crucially, it also provides guidance on how to support survivors.
Lisa P. is a survivor of human trafficking. She was part of the group of subject matter experts that helped review and develop the content for the training.
“When clinicians have the knowledge offered in the course, the often invisible signs of human trafficking can become visible, and they will be much more able to support individuals. Being part of this course development was validating and strengthened my resolve to educate and advocate for people still stuck within the throes of human trafficking.”
EENet’s Introduction to Human Trafficking is available now. Interested stakeholders can also continue the discussion and share resources on EENet Connect in the human trafficking community of practice.