Fairmont State University has been awarded $20,000 from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Drug Control Policy to help provide recovery resources for adults in educational environments through Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs).
“This funding will allow these higher education institutions to provide additional recovery support and resources, ultimately helping students pursue their educational goals with the benefit of a recovery community on campus,” said Susie Mullens, Interim Director of DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy. “CRPs are an important part of Governor Jim Justice’s comprehensive plan to support recovery,”
This funding will provide the necessary resources for the university to develop and pilot a CRP on campus during the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. The money will enable the initial launch of the program and allow for a full-year cycle of development, pilot-testing, assessment and refinement.
Andrea Pammer, director of counseling and disability services at Fairmont State, said being in recovery on a college campus can be overwhelming given the widely held belief that substance abuse and other maladaptive behaviors are part of the “normal” college experience.
“This grant will help Fairmont State University develop a sustainable Collegiate Recovery Program over the next year,” she said. “Providing students in recovery from any addiction — alcohol, drugs, food, self-injury, and others — who, with support and programming, will not only send a strong message that we welcome and encourage students in recovery to come forward and join their peers, but also raise the likelihood of academic success and graduation of participants to 90 percent.”
For the program, Fairmont State will contract with a licensed behavioral/mental health professional with specialized expertise in substance abuse disorders and recovery. The professional will help develop the program according to best practices, train Peer Recovery Coaches and provide training to faculty and staff on providing a supportive environment to individuals in recovery.
The university’s Department of Counseling and Disability Services will also hire four student Peer Recovery Coaches. The role of the coaches is to support students in recovery from a substance abuse disorder by assisting with services that promote long-term recovery.
During the first year, data collection will focus on gathering information on the target population. With the use of pre- and post-surveys and keeping a log of attendance, university officials will gain a better understanding of students in recovery.