Broadly speaking, harm reduction is any action or process that specifically creates more physical, emotional or psychological safety while accounting for and addressing the needs of the overall organization or community.
Harm reduction principles also encourage people to be better informed of the risks of their behavior and the impact that behavior has on others.
Some common forms of community-based harm reduction include:
- Speed limits and speed bumps
- Seat belt regulations
- Wearing ear plugs at a loud concert
- Unbiased, science-based information around the potential risks of drug use
Harm reduction also includes psychological and environmental efforts. In these cases, the steps we take to ensure safety include creating emotionally safe, open environments where communication and trust can occur – whether that’s in a workplace, a process group, or a public event.