Course Description


Harm reduction is an approach to program development and community care that aims to minimize risks, particularly those associated with substance use, by “meeting people where they’re at” and supporting their own self-identified health goals. This online course will provide an overview of the history and principles of harm reduction within the Canadian context, information about harm reduction based services, and specific strategies for engaging with people who use substances through the lens of harm reduction.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the historical and policy context of harm reduction based services in Canada.
  • Identify how the principles of harm reduction intersect with our own personal values.
  • Recognize the role of harm reduction within the continuum of care.
  • Identify when engagement through a harm reduction approach provides therapeutic benefit to individuals/clients.
  • Describe harm reduction based services including naloxone kits, safer smoking/injection/sex supplies, and supervised consumption services, including how to utilize, access, or refer clients to these services.
Claire O’Gorman is a Registered Nurse with a Masters’ Degree in Public Health and an interest in working at the intersection of health and justice. She has worked alongside community agencies, researchers, and individuals with lived experience to plan, implement, and evaluate harm reduction and community-led initiatives in both Vancouver and Calgary.
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Nov 08, 2021 to Nov 22, 2021
Delivery Options
Course Fees
Early Bird General non-credit $175.00
Early Bird Instructor non-credit $115.00
Early Bird Student non-credit $115.00
Reading List / Textbook
No Textbook Required
Section Notes

This is an online course and it uses Desire2Learn (D2L), an online learning management system. The instructor will post your course outline and other materials in D2L. For more information about D2L, please visit our Online Learning Resources.

Please note there are mandatory live sessions included in this course.

The live sessions will be held in real-time as follows:

  1. November 8, 2021, 5:30PM to 7:00PM MT
  2. November 22, 2021, 5:30PM to 7:00PM MT

To fully participate in the live sessions you will need to have access to a reliable headset with a microphone.

Unless notified, this course will be available in D2L by November 7, 2021. Students who register on (or after) the start date will receive access within one day of registration.

Students who are unfamiliar with online learning are recommended to visit our Online Learning Resources prior to enrolling in this course.

Unless otherwise stated, notice of withdrawal or transfer from a course must be received at least seven calendar days prior to the start date of the course.

Early Bird Pricing:

  • The Early Bird sub-category pricing for any General, Field/Sessional Instructor, or Student types ends one month before the beginning of the course. After that, Regular sub-type takes effect for all pricing categories.

Special Seats:

  • Limited Student and Field Instructors seats are available on first come first served basis.

The participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation at the end of the course. The course may be used towards ACSW Continuing Competency Activity Category A. credits.  In order to receive the Certificate, the participants need to devote about 5 hours each week to the course that will include listening to recorded lectures and participate in discussions forums with instructor and other students.  There are no scheduled times for the learning activities and is asynchronous. 


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