DC’s Social Impact Hub helps alumnus launch Surviving Addiction docuseries

Durham College’s (DC) Social Impact Hub has partnered with DC alumnus, Chris Cull, to launch his docuseries, Surviving Addiction, which shares different perspectives of those touched by addiction and the humanity behind people’s individual experiences.

Cull, a graduate of DC’s HVAC Techniques program, is an advocate for mental health and addiction awareness, as well as the founder of Inspire by Example, a digital library of lived experiences aimed at providing hope and resources for those impacted by addiction.

“Having spent over eight years living with opioid addiction and now 10 years working in mental health and addiction, I’ve experienced being the person living it, being the family member of someone with a substance use disorder, and the frontline healthcare worker who advises on federal, provincial and local strategies in the mental health and addiction field,” said Cull. “Within all of that, I’ve learned the different ways in which addiction can impact someone and I wanted to create this docuseries as a way to reach those who are currently struggling.”

The Social Impact Hub is one of DC’s applied research centres, and its work is focused on identifying creative solutions to complex social problems such as addiction and building relationships with community agencies tackling social justice issues.

“We’re extremely proud to support the creation of Surviving Addiction,” said Colleen McKay, manager, Grants and Special Projects, Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where the Social Impact Hub resides. “Working with community partners like Chris is crucial to inform the collaborative efforts of our project teams who work on various applied research and knowledge mobilization initiatives.”

Collaborative projects between DC’s Social Impact Hub and the community also provide a learning opportunity for DC students. Denice Quimbo, research associate in the Social Impact Hub and recent DC graduate says working on this project has given her and current students invaluable experience by applying their skills on a project that positively impacts viewers.

“Along with two students in DC’s Journalism – Mass Media program, we helped film the docuseries over the summer, which provided us a chance to use the skills we learned in the classroom,” she said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to work on a project that I believe will make a difference in the lives of those who are watching.”

Cull agreed that the support provided through the Social Impact Hub helped bring his vision to life. “Working with the Social Impact Hub has been an amazing experience,” Cull shared. “The students approached the project with hungry curiosity and were instrumental in shaping what the project has become. I’m exceptionally grateful for all of the support that helped drive my vision.”

The first episode of Surviving Addiction is available online and new episodes will be added on an ongoing basis.