Building on an initiative envisioned a year ago by student leaders of Students in Recovery Bloomington, the Division of Student Affairs will soon expand services and support for students in recovery. The new program will launch this spring to provide targeted support for students in substance use recovery, help for students who struggle to find long term recovery, and to connect students with allies in support of recovery.
The new program, founded as part of IU’s Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge initiative, will be a part of the Division of Student Affairs’ broader substance use prevention and response effort. The Grand Challenge initiative was announced by IU President Michael A. McRobbie alongside partners Governor Eric J. Holcomb and IU Health CEO, Dennis Murphy, in October of 2017 to prevent, reduce, and treat addictions in Indiana.
While providing additional resources to students already in recovery, the program will also offer services to students who are questioning their substance use and are interested in learning more about their recovery options. The program will be run by a professional staff member who will assist with program development and community building, provide counseling and case management for students, and connect students with resources.
“Thanks to the tenacity and imagination of student leaders of Students in Recovery Bloomington, this will be an important added resource not only for students currently enrolled at IU but also for students who may be considering their college decision and resources that would be available to them,” said Heather Barrett, associate director of IU’s Office of OASIS. “This will provide critical support for students, leading to better mental health and overall wellness – both now and in the future – all factors that contribute to increased academic success and graduation rates.”
For those in recovery from substance use disorder, it can be difficult to be on a college campus. This program will promote sober activities for all students and connect those struggling or in recovery with services to help maintain or begin their journey of recovery. The program will work in close collaboration with Students in Recovery, Bloomington (SIRB), a student organization that has initiated, promoted, and advocated for recovery support on IU Bloomington’s campus. The new program will build upon the existing foundation that SIRB has created with the support of Student Affairs and the Responding to the Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge.
“SIRB has given me the tools to succeed throughout my undergraduate degree and into my graduate career,” said Jake Desmond, IUB graduate student and founding SIRB member. “I am grateful to all the students and staff who initiated the recovery movement on campus and very excited to see the positive impacts from IU formally supporting a Collegiate Recovery Program.”