Advice for New Students
York Region, Ontario
Aara shares insight for new students on entering the harm reduction sector in this video.
What I tell young people getting into the work is that they won’t be wealthy and to know what that means. You know, I tell my students, I just got my first brand new car ever five years ago. So I say, if these are things you value, you need to understand that this field won’t offer that.
And I also talk a lot about vicarious trauma. What are you going to do to take care of yourselves? I give my students a really hard time because I’ll say, how many students here have counsellors or are part of a 12-step or any group counselling? And maybe one out of thirty will put up their hand.
And I say to them, so why is it exactly that you expect people to trust you in their heads when you haven’t worked out your head? And people are sort of shocked. And I say, the notion that people ask others to do these things and not try it themselves is crazy-making to me.
I say to my students, if I tell you all that you have to give up smoking, eating, and shopping today, what’s the reaction? Are any of you starting to sweat? So that’s how your clients feel when you ask them to stop using drugs.