Addiction can be very hard to understand if you haven’t gone through it. But one Campbell River group is helping to build both empathy and solutions.
We’ve reported on the wonderful and effective Walk With Me program before. And we’re pleased to report it’s back up and running this month.
“We are really pleased to make these walks available to members of the public again,” said Walk With Me organizer Sharon Karsten. “These walks are a powerful way to build an understanding of the human dimensions of this crisis.”
The program facilitates “story walks.” These are guided walks through areas in CR that have been prominent in the lives of people struggling with addiction in the city.
As you walk, you’re also taken on an audio journey through your headphones. The recording delivers emotional experiences, stories, poetry, and songs from folks who’ve opened up to share with the public.
“These soundscapes are deeply moving,” said Karsten. “They come from many hours of community dialogue hosted with people whose lives have been impacted by the toxic drug poisoning crisis—including people who use drugs, family members, and front-line workers.”
The walks will take place from 10:30 a.m. until noon, and 12:30 until 2 p.m. on November 16th in Spirit Square.
Participants take a guided 45-minute walk and then return to the plaza for a sharing circle to help process what they’ve heard.
You don’t have to go on a walk to be part of the experience. There are also options for people who have a tougher time getting around.
Since they got started in 2020, they’ve continued to expand through cities and have even become a part of training and education for many organizations.
“We are grateful to those who have agreed to share their stories. Their openness with such intensely personal experiences helps to fight stigma and bring about change,” said Karston.
The walks are completely free, and you can register in advance on their website.