Health and Wellness plans harm reduction workshops

Workshops throughout February will teach safe approaches to sex and substances

Graphic by Dallin Chicoine, staff

The Health and Wellness Office at the University of Manitoba is offering three free harm reduction workshops this month, available to staff, faculty and students.

These workshops, hosted through Zoom, aim to show that a harm reduction model is needed to reduce potential harm related to substance use and sex, working from the view that accepting and understanding the fact that activities related to substance use and sex will occur in our society helps to reduce the potential harms associated with those activities.

‍The first workshop, offered Feb. 1, was titled “Overdose Recognition and Response Training.”

‍“This workshop was prepared to provide students, staff and faculty with an opportunity to learn more about how to recognize an overdose as well as steps that can be taken in the community to prevent or avoid further harm,” a representative from the Health and Wellness Office said in a written statement.

‍“During this workshop, participants can expect to learn what an overdose is, what a stimulant and opioid/depressant overdose may look like and how they can respond.”

‍Workshops on “Enhancing the Holidays Through Harm Reduction” and “Enhancing the Exam Season Through Harm Reduction” are being held on Feb. 8 and Feb. 15 respectively, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

‍Both workshops are offered through the U of M’s Student Counselling Centre alongside the Health and Wellness Office.

The “Enhancing the Holidays Through Harm Reduction” workshop explores responsible approaches to alcohol consumption. It also provides insights on various way to create boundaries with loved ones during holidays such as Valentine’s Day.

‍The final workshop offered is called “Enhancing the Exam Season Through Harm Reduction” and offers routes to manage generalized anxiety as well as stress-related anxiety. It also identifies coping strategies for stress as well as tips for preparing for exams.

“The purpose of these workshops are to provide students with an opportunity to learn more about the harm reduction principles and how to apply it into their everyday lives,” wrote the Health and Wellness Office.

“We understand the holiday seasons and exam periods can be two stressful timeframes for students. Because of this, we wanted to tailor these presentations to represent these two situations.”

More information about these workshops can be found online through the university’s Health and Wellness Office.