We don't do individual counselling but community awareness
"We are here to help; not judge you"
The Harm Reduction Team
From left is Rachel Harper, HCA, Harm Reduction Worker and Sharon Monias, LPN, Harm Reduction Nurse
Message from the Program Staff
What is Harm Reduction?
“Harm Reduction is a perspective that focuses on reducing the adverse health, social, and economic consequences of psychoactive drug use, and its Principles can be equally applied to other stigmatized and/or criminalized practices and behaviours related to substance use and sex.
Supported by local, national, and international evidence, this Position Statement articulates client-centered, nonjudgmental, and practical applications of harm reduction to issues related to drugs, sex work, and HIV non-disclosure. The Statement recognizes that sex and drug-related harms derive from social and material conditions, such as structural disadvantage, criminalization, and stigma (Rhodes 2002; 2009). It therefore focuses not only on client services, but extends to considering the social and structural factors that create the conditions for harm.”
…Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA)
What we are starting in Four Arrows Harm Reduction Program
Harm reduction is widely endorsed by national and international organizations, including the World Health Organization (2004), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2013), the Public Health Physicians of Canada (2009),
the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC, 2012), and the Canadian Nurses Association, jointly with the Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care (2012).
This is a very sensitive area.
We are here to bring awareness; not to stop you from doing what you are doing but reduce harm.
I will give you an example.
We are in the process of getting a needle exchange in place. We are not trying to stop them from shooting up drugs but reduce harm like the spread of HIV aids by not sharing needles. When using straws, not to share the straws.
Health Canada gives packages for people who are doing the drugs, the spoon, the needle and stuff like that.
We Don't Do Individual Counselling but Community Awareness
With the front line workers we try to provide training for them. We did a training on the basics regarding meth. A lot of them don’t know what it does to a person. It leads to psychosis and suicides.
We don’t go to the television stations but we do hold workshops at community centers or at the Health Centers. We just advertise that we are coming in and whoever wants to can come.
We get very low attendance at these workshops. We want to increase attendance, that’s our main goal.
Some Of Our Activities
We attended the Health Fairs in Garden Hill and St. Theresa Point because Wasagamack and Red Sucker Lake don’t have health fairs and we will support them in setting one up. When they pick a date and time we will go there and set up our booth at the same time.
In summer we went to the see the students and did a HIV awareness week. December 1 is World HIV Awareness Day. What we encourage is a HIV Awareness walk. They did the walk but didn’t know what HIV was. So, this year we will still have the walk but a week before the walk we will go into the communities to do a HIV awareness presentation.
For one community we went to the community hall and for another we went to the television station and did a presentation on TV. Garden Hill we did it at the Health center and Red Sucker hasn’t had their walk yet.
Principles Of Harm Reduction - (International Harm Reduction Association, 2010)
- Is client-centered, non-judgmental, and facilitative, rather than coercive.
- Targets the causes of risks and harms.
- Is evidence-informed, practical, feasible, effective, safe, and cost effective.
- Promotes autonomy and dignity.
- Is transparent, and accountable.
- It values meaningful engagement and participation of affected communities in the program and
policy decisions that affect them.
- Challenges policies and practices that maximize harm. This includes criminalization, discrimination,
abstinence-only services, and social inequities.
"Expect to see us in your community soon to spread awareness of Harm Reduction"... Sharon Monias, LPN and Rachel Harper, HCA.
About Sharon Monias
Sharon Monias is an aboriginal nurse born and raised in the Island Lake communities of Garden Hill and St Theresa Point. Sharon has been a Licensed Practical Nurse specializing in the field of diabetes and harm reduction for the last 12 years. With her experience, she utilizes her knowledge of language and culture in her practices that allows her to connect and relate to her clients and communities that she services. Owing to her professionalism, compassionate and calm nature, Sharon is a real asset to the medical field of nursing.
Last but not least, she is a wife to a Chief and a mother to four wonderful grown children who she cherishes and despite her hectic schedule, still manages to juggle her professional life and personal life. It is these attributes that makes her a valuable asset to her family, communities and to the organization.
How To Contact Sharon Monias
About Rachel Harper
Hi. My name is Rachel Harper.
I’m from Wasagamack First Nation. I’m originally from St Theresa Point First Nation. I have one daughter who is 23 years old. I’ll be a “to be grandmother” to my first grandchild in this summer 2020.
I’ve been with Four Arrows Regional Heath Authority Inc since in August 2017. I started off working in Kidney Screening project as Heath Care Aide. For a year, we traveled to Garden Hill First Nation every 2 weeks each month to do the Community Kidney Screening.
When the project to the end ended. Then I started working to new position to as Harm Reduction Worker on September 2018. I worked with four communities with Island Lake area. St Theresa point, Wasagamack, Garden Hill and Red Sucker Lake. Where we worked with the community members to promote preventions. provide resources or any information as we can provide.