Harm Reduction Conference 2019
January 11, 2019 held at the Ala Moana Hotel
Title: Communities, Connections, Compassion
A record of over 450 people attended this conference. The theme was intersectionality. That refers to the shaping of one’s identity by factors such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality, and how the interwoven nature of experiences are shaped by social issues.
The morning plenary featured talks from Virginia Charles, CEO of ETR Associates, and Thaddeus Pham the Viral Hepatitis Coordinator of the HI Dept of Health’s Harm Reduction Services Branch.
The afternoon plenary between just prior to the third breakout session featured a presentation by Patt Denning of the Center for Harm Reduction Therapy. That was followed by a panel discussion.
A list of the various breakout sessions follows.
Come as You Are: Counseling People Who are Actively Using Drugs
In harm reduction, we do not ask that program participants stop all substance use, unless that is their goal. This workshop will support providers to give participant-centered services by helping them learn to work with their clients to choose the most urgent issues on which to focus, reduce the harm that is being done, establish goals, and implement gradual, realistic steps to achieve them.
Harm Reduction at Work: Self-Help Strategies for Maintaining our Mental Health
An important component of harm reduction is the belief that individuals are the experts in knowing what they need and how to achieve it. Please join us for this presentation on current mental health self-help tools and hear from community members with demanding careers about how they manage their own mental health.
Harm Reduction Heroes: Communications Tactics to Inspire Media and Lawmakers
News stories on your issue come out all wrong? Low or no support from the public or lawmakers? Working with controversial or stigmatized issues? How can we build outside “heroes” for our cause? This hands-on workshop takes on your organization’s real-life communications challenges. Experts in journalism, storytelling, and political change-making and strategic communications will suggest tools and approaches. Open to everyone, whether “communications” is in your job title or not.
Beyond Ban the Box: Fair Employment Rights for Persons with Criminal Histories
Gainful employment for persons with arrest and court records is an important strategy towards successful rehabilitation, reintegration, and building self-worth and self-sufficiency. This workshop will discuss strategies for how to support and expand employment rights for those who are formerly incarcerated or have criminal records, and how to advocate for change in hiring practices.
Peacemaking: From Ancient Practices to Modern Day Restorative Justice
This interactive workshop will explore peacemaking from ancient practices to modern restorative justice circles and how these practices can work to restore our communities, promote justice, peacemaking, and conflict resolution.
The Intersection of Harm Reduction, Compassion, and Healing
With the misconceptions around harm reduction, there are many myths and misunderstandings about how to begin, introduce, and continue to implement harm reduction strategies in the day to day connections with consumers. This panel will focus on fresh, up to date, and Hawai’i-specific harm reduction techniques specifically related to working with the houseless and chronically homeless population and people who have Substance Use Disorders and/or Co-Occurring Disorders in Hawai’i.
Taking the L.E.A.D, Getting the H.E.L.P: Local Harm Reduction & Law Enforcement Opportunities
This session will be a guided discussion with a panel of outreach workers and law enforcement sharing the challenges and benefits of collaboration through programs such as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (L.E.A.D.) and Health, Efficiency, Long-Term Partnerships (H.E.L.P.). The discussion will focus on lessons learned and provide opportunities to explore how to expand these partnerships into other local communities.
Outreach & Harm Reduction
This workshop will increase the capacity of participants in providing competent services when working with transgender communities, sex workers, and difficult to outreach to populations. Participants will understand the barriers these populations face when attempting to access services and how to tailor their programs to incorporate the harm reduction philosophy.
Harm Reduction in Public Health: In the Belly of the Bureaucracy
This session will describe how harm reduction policies can be integrated into public health practice in various settings.
BE THE CHANGE! Building Advocacy for Correctional Reform
This session will start with a short panel discussion with members of the HCR 85 Correctional Reform Task Force about their recommendations to the 2019 Legislature. Participants will then get a chance to make their own specific recommendations and develop advocacy points to share.
It Takes a Village: Enhancing the Network of Care for Medical Cannabis Patients in Hawai`i
This session will be a guided discussion with a panel of stakeholders in the medical cannabis community, including the Department of Health, the Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement Division, the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i, Mailed Cannabis Clinic, Maui Grown Therapies, and Cure O`ahu. The purpose of this discussion will be to clarify the roles of each stakeholder and identify opportunities for action to enhance public health as well as public safety around medical cannabis use.
Motivational interviewing (MI) is a treatment approach that is well established as an effective way to promote behavior change in individuals. It utilizes change talk to increase client motivation and movement to change across all health, mental health, and substance use conditions. This workshop will be an experiential introduction to MI skill development training that helps clients make commitments to make behavioral changes based on goals that they have identified.
“FOSTA, SESTA & SWOP” – The New ABC’s of Sex Work
This workshop will present an update of laws that effect social service providers, sex workers, law enforcement, and others.
Harm Reduction and End-of-Life Issues
This workshop will be a small talk story session on end-of-life issues faced in communities served by harm reduction programs. (Space limited to 20 participants.)
Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline Through a Multi-Disciplinary Trauma Informed Approach
The School-to-Prison Pipeline is a nationwide system of local, state, and federal education and public safety policies that push students out of school and into the criminal justice system. This system disproportionately targets youth of color, foster youth, LGBTQ+ youth, youth with disabilities, youth living in poverty, and, above all, trauma-impacted youth. This workshop will provide attendees a nuanced understanding of the causal factors contributing to the pipeline as well as concrete tools from a trauma-informed lens that social workers, educators and those working in allied ﬁelds can employ to disrupt the pipeline.