Thursday, September 16, 2021

Harm Reduction at Carleton

Welcome back, Ravens! The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Harm Reduction Team wants to take this opportunity to welcome students for the 2021-2022 academic year and to re-introduce our Harm Reduction philosophy. We will also go over the many supports here at Carleton that are available to students who are directly and indirectly affected by substance use and addiction.

Harm Reduction is an umbrella term for measures, practices, and approaches that aim to reduce the harms to persons, families, and communities caused by substance use, substance use disorder, and other related disorders. Harm Reduction can also be seen in things like seat belts, bike helmets, condoms, masks, etc. It simply means “reducing harms or reducing risks.”

What does Harm Reduction look like for post-secondary students? We focus on things like safer use, assessment tools and student peer supports. The student population and its needs are unique, so it’s important to be reflexive and responsive. Check out our Safer Substance Use webpage for more information on Harm Reduction at Carleton.

Peer support is a cornerstone of our Harm Reduction philosophy for students and involves a fellow peer offering support in a time of need. Peer facilitators are not experts or counsellors, but they are trained to facilitate meetings in a non-judgmental and safe manner, and often share an understanding of the lived experiences of their fellow students. Research has shown individuals who include self-help/peer support groups as part of their recovery plan have positive outcomes and a deeper sense of understanding and belonging.

Through our continued partnership with the Community Addictions Peer Support Association, virtual All People All Pathways weekly peer support meetings have been made available to students and staff. These meetings are facilitated by persons with experience with substance use and addiction. The meetings are non-committal, confidential and do not require attendees to abstain from substances if they so choose. They are for persons directly and indirectly affected by substance use and addiction to share their experiences about what has helped them on their journey and provide a non-judgemental and safe environment for those seeking help to ask questions, free from stigma, alienation or discrimination. All are welcome!

The dates, times and links for the meetings are as follows. Please keep up to date with any changes by visiting the Safer Substance Use webpage.

Student meeting: Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Zoom link
Meeting ID: 929 8756 9610
Password: 787302

Staff meeting: Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Zoom link
Meeting ID: 993 9326 6953
Password: 222945

We hope you have a great year, Ravens!

If you need further assistance or more information about Harm Reduction, email Dillon Brady, Harm Reduction and Conduct Manager.

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