Champions Program

About the program

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 Illinois. They are people from communities across IL 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.

Workshop Information

The Helpline Champion workshop series is an interactive, online space designed bring together current and new Champions. In two 2-hour sessions, we will learn about the IL Helpline and the Champion program and build relationships and skills to support Helpline Champions in their outreach across Illinois.

Our workshops are held over Zoom to ensure the safety of all and to allow Champions from across the state to meet, learn from, and inspire one another.

Session 1: Helpline deep dive/Building relationships

In this session we will dive into the Helpline values, services, staff, and website navigation to prepare you in feeling more confident in sharing about the Helpline – while also meeting our Screening and Information Specialist!

You will also get a chance to connect with fellow champions while sharing what motivates us to do this work and who has inspired us in our life.

Session 2: Outreach approaches & strategies/Community mapping/Next steps as a Helpline Champion

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?

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? Wrapping up our workshop series we will think through how we stay connected and support each other moving forward.

Check back for dates of the next Helpline Champion Workshop

Order Helpline materials HERE.

Watch Aisha’s Story and learn more about being a Helpline Champion.