Harm Reduction and Social Justice | Social Justice & Inclusion Track, Mental Health Institute

NOTE: This event is specifically for Washington State attendees who are part of the behavioral health workforce.


This session is part of the Social Justice & Inclusion track of the Mental Health Institute.


These days, harm reduction includes a broad set of compassionate and pragmatic approaches that aim to reduce substance-related harm and improve quality of life. Harm reduction started as a series of grass-roots community-led movements to advocate for equal rights to healthcare and housing for people who have been most impacted and marginalized by substance-related harm and HIV. Leaders of these movements over the past 4 decades have comprised a diverse group of people who use substances, communities of color and the LGBTQIA2+ communities. In this training, you will be introduced to the history of harm reduction and how its principles are based in racial, gender and social justice. You will also learn how to embody the principles of social justice in your work with clients and patients and how to engage in trauma-informed care.  A central focus of this work is building awareness of the prevalence of trauma, how trauma (including intergenerational/historical and secondary trauma) presents, and obtaining skills needed to address trauma in our work.

Contact hours will be available for participants who attend the entire session. The University of Washington is an approved provider of continuing education for DOH licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, psychologists, chemical dependency professionals, nurses and physicians under the provisions of: WAC 246-809-610, WAC 246-809-620,WAC 246-811-200, WAC 246-840-210, WAC 246-919-460 and WAC 246-924-240.

See more in the Social Justice & Inclusion Track HERE




Michele Andrasik, PhD, EdM

Michele AndrasikMichele Andrasik works to address psychosocial and structural factors associated with HIV risk and STI disparities among marginalized communities in the US. Her efforts have focused on developing collaborative and reciprocal relationships between researchers, community members and organizations to address existing health disparities. In her work with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) she works to improve behavioral risk assessment, enrollment, recruitment and retention in preventive HIV vaccine trials. Dr. Andrasik also works to address the impact of stigma on disparities across the HIV care continuum. Dr. Andrasik has a doctoral degree in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Miami and is an expert in Community-Based Participatory Research approaches and Qualitative methods. Prior to returning to graduate school, she worked as Director of AIDS services for a community-based organization with locations in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Currently, she is the lead Behavioral Scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s (FHCRC) HVTN, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington (UW), and Core Faculty in the FHCRC/UW Center for AIDS Research Sociobehavioral Prevention Research Core.


Seema L. Clifasefi, PhD, MSW

Seema ClifasefiSeema L. Clifasefi, PhD, is an associate professor and codirector of the Harm Reduction Research and Treatment (HaRRT) Center at the University of Washington-Harborview Medical Center. Her research lies at the intersection of substance use, mental health, criminal justice and housing policy. Since 2006, she has been part of several collaborative academic/community-based research partnerships evaluating the effects of individual and community-level harm reduction programs and interventions designed for people with lived experience of homelessness and substance use problems, including Housing First.




Susan E. Collins, PhD

Susan CollinsSusan Collins, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and faculty at Washington State University and the University of Washington School of Medicine. At Harborview Medical Center, she codirects the Harm Reduction Research and Treatment (HaRRT) Center with her colleague, Dr. Seema Clifasefi. Dr. Collins has been involved in substance use research, assessment and treatment for over 25 years and has disseminated this work in over 7 dozen book chapters, abstracts and peer-reviewed articles. In 2013, Dr. Collins received the G. Alan Marlatt Memorial Research Award for her contributions to alcohol research. In 2015, she was invited to speak on her work at the White House and was honored with the New Investigator Award for her Harm Reduction Treatment development in the University of Washington Science-in-Medicine Lecture Series. She also brings her own lived experience as a person in recovery from addictive behaviors and as a woman embedded in families with the intergenerational experience of substance use disorder and harm. Currently, she works with multidisciplinary research and clinical teams, community-based agencies, and people who use substances to codevelop a toolbox of evidence-based treatments that empower individuals to reduce their substance-related harm and improve their quality of life – even if they are not ready, willing or able to stop using.


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Starts: Dec 7, 2022 9:00 am
Ends: Dec 7, 2022 1:00 pm
Registration Deadline
December 7, 2022
Event Type
Webinar/Virtual Training
Hosted by
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