Host Your Own Training Event

To host your own training event, use these tools:

This toolkit has been prepared to provide information, support and guidance to any group or organization that is planning to hold a community harm reduction training event in Canada.

The contents of this toolkit are:

  • A harm reduction brochure
    • To provide additional information about NARCAN Nasal Spray
  • A training video on the importance of naloxone and how to administer it
    • To provide additional training and context about the opioid crisis
  • How to write a letter inviting media to cover your training event
    • To provide an invitation to media to attend the harm reduction training event with the goal of developing a news story and sharing your organization’s community harm reduction efforts
  • How to engage with media
    • To provide event organizers with an overview of to engage the media to attend your event and get some positive news coverage and information out about your organization and its work in the community
  • How to invite a pharmacist to train attendees
    • To contact a local pharmacist to see if they will come to your harm reduction event and train attendees on injectable and nasal spray naloxone administration, how to spot an overdose, etc.
  • Customizable community harm reduction event poster
    • For organizations to place in windows, walls and counters, and in any local businesses willing to
      help promote your harm reduction event. This will alert people of the upcoming event
  • Event check list
    • To ensure all groups +/ organizations looking to hold a community harm reduction training event have everything they need in order for the session to be a success

Harm Reduction Brochure

It’s vital we know how to respond if we encounter someone experiencing the effects of an opioid overdose, especially if:

  • You are taking or have taken opioids
  • You know someone taking opioids
  • You think you will encounter someone experiencing the effects of an opioid overdose

Opioid overdoses can occur, even when taking as directed by a doctor.

Learn how to identify an opioid overdose and the drugs which include opioids, as well as understand the role of naloxone and how to obtain it with the brochure below.

Naloxone Training Video

Watch this short video on how to use naloxone.

How to Invite Local Media

Inviting media to your training event is a useful way to let your local community know that you are holding a community harm reduction training event. It is also a way to notify your local community that you and your organization are a source of information on harm reduction in your area.

Contacting Local Media

Local media like to share compelling stories about the people in their community, like you. The best way to inform them about your story is by sending a pitch note.

A pitch note is where you’ll be able to share your message in a way that can show the reporter how the story might unfold for their audience. This is also your opportunity to introduce yourself to the reporter, tell your story and explain why it’s important that they highlight harm reduction events in their area.

To support your story, you might want to include an angle or reason is also an effective tool to encourage media to engage in your story, this could be about local stats in your area or a situation that has led to the harm reduction event taking place. You can find general stats about the opioid crisis on the Canadian Government website or by visiting your province’s government website.

You should contact them 1-2 weeks in advance with your pitch note to give reporters enough time to prepare to attend your event. If you don’t hear back within a few days, send a follow-up email or contact them by phone to see if they are interested in covering your event. Their contact details will likely be found on the media’s website. If you can’t find it, call the general line and ask to speak with a producer, editor, or other newsroom contact.

Pitch Tips

  • Don’t try and include every aspect and detail of your event. The pitch note should be no longer than one page in length and should cover the main points that you would like covered.

  • Reference relevant statistics where possible to show where the information comes from. Media can potentially use them as research points for any feature or more in-depth stories.

  • References can provide credibility to the content of the letter; however, linking to another website may require the consent of that organization (unless they are a public health/government agency).

  • An image is a great addition to your story and you should have one ready should someone ask for it. It should be in colour, be of high-resolution, with a plain background with no visible logos or brands. An image relevant to the event is best, such as yourself or the people organizing the event, but if you don’t have an image to share, please see the images included in the community harm reduction event toolkit.

    • If you include photos, ensure you ask permission from individuals in the photos, or seek permission if the photo is copyrighted. Always provide a photo credit to the photographer.

Below, please find a downloadable template pitch note. This template illustrates how you could share your story with local media via email, with the aim of inviting them to cover your event and potentially participate in the event.

How to Engage with Media

Learn how to engage the media to attend your event and get some positive news coverage and information out about your organization and its work in the community. The Media Training document 

Media Relations 

Speaking with media for the first time can be daunting, but preparation can help ease much of the on-the-spot stress of explaining your message to an audience. Below you will find expert tips on how to prepare for an interview to ensure nothing can distract from your important story. 

Why Engage with The Media? 

The media are a great tool for you to promote your initiative. It is important to connect with them because they can: 

  • Help spread the word about your harm reduction training event 
  • Highlight you and your organization as a place where they can get more information 
  • Encourage your local community to engage with harm reduction in their area 

How to Invite A Pharmacist or First Responder

Contact a local pharmacist to see if they will come to your harm reduction event and train attendees on injectable and nasal spray naloxone administration, how to spot an overdose, etc.

A pharmacist or other medical expert should conduct the community harm reduction training event, especially on how to administer naloxone to a person in need. Having a pharmacist on site for the training will also be a great opportunity for you and your attendees to ask any questions they have and to ensure all participants are confident in what to do, should they encounter someone suffering the effects of an opioid overdose. We recommend a pharmacist provides the naloxone training because they are often the most likely person to engage with the general public regarding opioids. If a pharmacist is unavailable, you might want to reach out to a first responder, such as a paramedic, to conduct your training event.

Below is a template of an email to a pharmacist (or first responder), inviting them to attend and conduct the naloxone training.

Customizable Event Poster

Use this 11″ x 17″ poster to promote your event. Type in the details of your event—date, venue, contact information—and share in your community.

Training Event Checklist

Ensure your community harm reduction training event has everything it needs in order for the session to be a success.

Pre-Event Checklist

  • Define objectives & desired outcomes for the event
  • Define the audience & attendees
  • Contact pharmacist or first responder to confirm their attendance to conduct the training and determine if they are comfortable to supply and distribute free naloxone kits to attendees
  • Confirm date, time, location of harm reduction training event
  • Confirm that venue has audio/visual equipment to show the naloxone video
  • Identify locations for event posters to be displayed
  • Contact local media to invite to attend the training session and provide coverage for their publication

Event Day Checklist

  • Venue set up
  • Send reminder email to attendees
  • Confirm with media if they are still attending
  • Brief pharmacists or first responder

Post-Event Checklist

  • Follow-up with the pharmacist or first responder to
  • If you’re able, follow-up with attendees to
  • Follow-up with any media that attended
  • Share coverage on your social channels

© 2019 Fight the Crisis

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