Harm reduction

We always meet people where they are

This means that regardless of your circumstances, how you got there, or your history, we are here to help you, exactly as you are. Our support is compassionate and non-judgmental, without exception. 

This includes people who use substances

As an organisation which supports people who use substances, it is our responsibility to ensure that our services are designed and delivered in a way that is inclusive and welcoming. We know from experience that excluding people based on their substance use doesn’t result in a reduction of use – it leaves people facing greater harm. 

We are here to support people to make choices that are right for them through offering non-judgemental, compassionate, and inclusive services. 

Why do we do this?

The people that come to us and entrust us with their support and care are often facing huge challenges and find that their substance use helps them to manage a range of physical and mental health issues, and get through daily life. By recognising this, and implementing our high tolerant approach, we’re helping the people we support to embark on a journey of trust and openness which can be hugely challenges against a backdrop of stigma and exclusion. Those who struggle with substance use often have complex issues rooted in childhood trauma, abuse, and abandonment.

What does harm reduction mean in practice?

In short: it means committing to our promise of meeting people where they are.

Harm reduction means providing support that prioritises people’s human rights and the principles of social justice. Delivering elastic tolerant services allows us to support people on a person by person basis, and work with people in a way that is flexible, responsive and understanding of their needs. Substance use is not a barrier in accessing help, we will always support people on an individual level, link people into harm reduction and ensure their safety and wellbeing is prioritised’ 

We know that excluding people based on substance use doesn’t help anybody and we always prioritise safety and well-being over punitive measures.

Strong relationships that are built on trust are at the heart of how we work together at Simon Community Scotland and, with this in mind, it’s essential that people don’t feel they have to hide what they’re doing from us. By being open and honest with one another, we can work towards safer, healthier lives.