Help Not Harm is a campaign calling for a shift in drug laws from a criminal justice approach to a public health-based approach, with the goal of improving access to harm reduction, education and treatment. Stillwater was approached in August 2015 to launch the Help Not Harm campaign and increase the public’s awareness of drug decriminalisation for personal use. Stillwater worked with Director, Graham de Barra, to come up with a title for the organisation – Help Not Harm – and planned a calendar of awareness events that would take place over the next nine months. These included the campaign launch in August where interviews on RTÉ Radio 1, Newstalk and Today FM were secured, as well as print and online coverage in the Independent, Sunday Independent, Sunday Business Post and TheJournal.ie.
In January 2016 we hosted the Help Not Harm Symposium in Buswells Hotel, Dublin which saw drug experts from Ireland and abroad gather to discuss how current drug policies in Ireland are harming the most vulnerable people in society and what alternative models could offer. Stillwater’s role in this event was to help with the messaging, themes, production and promotion of the event. The Minister for Drugs, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin spoke at the event with Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien and coverage included a package on RTÉ Radio 1 Morning Ireland and Drivetime, Newstalk The Pat Kenny Show, Today FM The Last Word with Matt Cooper, UTV Ireland, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner as well as local radio news bulletins.
“Out of Harm’s Way”
In February, Help Not Harm was asked to co-host “Out of Harm’s Way” with Community Insite, an event which told the story of the world’s first and North America’s only public, legal supervised injection site. On this occasion, Stillwater’s primary role was to promote the event in media ahead of and on the day of the talk. Coverage included RTÉ Radio 1 Today with Séan O’Rourke, Newstalk Breakfast, Irish Independent, Sunday Times online and local Dublin radio.