Champions Program

About the program

 

The Helpline Champions are an inspired group of individuals who reach out in simple, powerful ways in their own communities to increase use of harm reduction services, substance use disorder treatment, and recovery support services in Massachusetts. They are people from communities across MA with a desire to take concrete action to support those living with a substance use disorder, whether actively using or in recovery. The Champion program aims to increase awareness and use of the Helpline.

How it works

  • Engaged, inspired community members share Helpline information and materials with their own in-person or online networks (neighborhood, organization, social media, etc.)
  • Champions take creative, local action tailored to their community to build awareness of the Helpline and its services

Why it works

  • Helpline Champions are experts in their own community
  • The program relies on existing trusted networks to spread information about the Helpline

Anyone can be a Helpline Champion

We welcome all people to become Champions in their community. Helpline Champions include, but are not limited to:

  • People actively using
  • People in recovery – early and long-term
  • Providers/referrers
  • Young adults
  • Concerned and affected family members and friends
  • Coalition members
  • Recovery coaches
  • Peer support specialists
  • Retirees
  • Faith leaders

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about becoming a Helpline Champion.

Champion Workshop series

The Helpline Champion workshop series is an interactive, online space designed bring together current and new Champions. In four sessions, we will learn about the MA Substance Use Helpline and the Champion program and build relationships and skills to support Helpline Champions in their outreach across Massachusetts.

For the time being, our workshops will be held over Zoom to ensure the safety of all while we maintain COVID-19 protocols, and to allow Champions from across the state to meet, learn from, and inspire one another.

Content

Session 1: Building relationships (1 hour, 15 minutes)

Brief overview of the Helpline and the Champions program. We will share what motivates us to do this work and who has inspired us in our life.

Session 2: Community mapping (1 hour, 15 minutes)

Community mapping overview and why it is helpful. We will look at: What communities am I part of? Who do I know? Where are the spaces I connect with people?

Session 3: Outreach approaches & strategies (1 hour, 15 minutes)

Hear from current Champions about how they outreach for the Helpline. We will examine: What are and where are the needs in my community? What is my outreach style? How can I integrate it into my day-to-day life? Where will I begin?

Session 4: Helpline overview & looking forward (1 hour, 15 minutes)

Meet our Screening and Information Specialists! Learn more and feel confident sharing about Helpline values, services, staff, and website navigation. We will think through how we want to stay connected moving forward.

Registration

The MA Helpline holds our 4-part workshop series twice per year in the Fall and Spring. We can also host a 2 or 4-part workshop with your organization. These workshops are supported by optional monthly Champion Learning Community meetings where Champions from across MA gather to share successes and challenges, build skills, and build community.

Season Registration opens Training start date
Fall 2021 September 15, 2021 October 14, 2021
Spring 2022 April 1, 2022 TBD, May 2022

Registration is currently closed. It will reopen for our Spring workshop on April 1st, 2022.

Contact us if you’d like to be put on the list for our Spring workshop session, you’d like to hold a workshop at your organization, or to learn more about the workshop.

 

Monthly Champion Learning Community meetings

Starting on January 12th, 2022, we will hold monthly meetings open to all. This gathering space is for those already actively working as Champions in their communities and for those interested in learning more about the Champion program, so feel free to invite friends and loved ones, colleagues, and more.

In our monthly meetings we envision:

  • A trusted, supportive community space for existing and new Champions
  • A time to build relationships between Champions and Helpline staff
  • A place to learn and grow personally and professionally
  • A space to build skills and share skills
  • An entry point for new Champions

We hope you’ll join us!

Contact us if you’d like to attend our January meeting or learn more about becoming a Helpline Champion.