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Emergency Department

Harm Reduction is no judgement.

Harm Reduction

Harm Reduction can be defined as

as policies, programs and practices that seek to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of legal and illegal psychoactive substances. Harm reduction is pragmatic and focuses on keeping people safe and minimizing death, disease and injury associated with higher risk behavior, while recognizing that the behavior may continue despite the risks.

Government of Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

Guiding Principles

  • commitment to social justice, equity and equitable access to programs and services.
  • Provide support, knowledge and resources that enable people to experience increased safety and improved health outcomes.
  • Prioritize decreasing harms associated with a behaviour and promote wellness rather than stopping behavior.
  • Clients have access to low threshold, flexible, and accessible client-centered services wherever possible, respect for their individual autonomy, and support to set their own goals based on their needs, specific circumstances, abilities, beliefs and priorities.
  • People-centered approach to care and services is adopted by health care professionals
  • Clients are informed of the evidence-based treatments, prevention, health promotion, and options available to them in community or facility.
  • Social determinants of health impact the lives and health status of the population. Every attempt is made to promote optimum health by redressing inequities.
  • Clients are treated with respect and human dignity without judgment, stigma and/or discrimination with acknowledgement of challenges they may face in accessing care.
  • Individuals with lived experience have expertise to contribute as partners in the creation of programs, policies, and harm reduction strategies designed to serve them, and their input is valued and respected.
  • The importance of providing safe and competent care that is based on evidence instead of personal beliefs, ideology or misconception.

What PMH has to offer

Harm Reduction programs focus on meeting clients where they are at, safer strategies when engaging in higher risk behaviors, and acknowledging that some clients may want to reduce their substance use but not abstain completely. 

We also offer information on safer strategies when engaging in activities that could put you at risk. 

  • safer sex supplies
  • needles and other injection supplies
  • safer smoking kits for crack and meth
  • needle disposal and containers for safe needle disposal
  • take home naloxone kits
  • confidential STBBI testing and resources
  • resources on safer smoking, injecting, snorting, tobacco, alcohol consumption & vaping
picture of Prairie Mountain Health's outreach van for Community Connections program

Community Connections Outreach Van

Public Health Nurses offer harm reduction services and Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infection (STBBI) testing and treatment on the road with the Community Connections van.  Look for us in a community near you or contact your local Public Health Office to speak with a Public Health Nurse about the Community Connections Outreach Van.

More information on Harm Reduction

image showing Prairie Mountain Health supports inclusivity of for all sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions
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