This semester, the University of Connecticut Recovery Community will begin training students who want to become more confident recovery allies through hosting 2 hour sessions, according to the Student Health and Wellness website.
“Through an interactive 2 hour session, the Recovery Ally Training program exists to expand awareness, sensitivity and support to any individual on the University of Connecticut campuses in (or seeking) recovery from substance use disorders,” the website said.
Training sessions will be led by either Recovery Community Program Coordinator Sandy Valentine or current UConn student and certified recovery coach Zach Green, Valentine said. The sessions will also be co-facilitated by a group of recovery allies from the UConn School of Pharmacy.
Dates, time and locations of training sessions are posted on the website, along with the application, which is available to staff, faculty and students. Additional dates and times will be added based on demand, according to Valentine.
Students of the program will become more aware of resources available to those in recovery, as well as how to be a better friend and supporter for those seeking recovery.
“Students should expect to learn how to be a friend, supporter helper, partner and advocate for Huskies in or seeking recovery,” Valentine said. “This includes awareness of resources, and how to create a safe space for people in recovery.”
Valentine, who is in long-term recovery from alcoholism and is also a certified recovery coach, said that the Recovery Community chose to start this program because they wanted to teach friends and family of those who are struggling with substance use disorders how to be supportive in the recovery process.
“Friends and family members often wrestle with understanding that addiction is a disease, and not a moral failure,” Valentine said. “They are often unaware of the resources and pathways to recovery.”
Students should consider attending the training sessions in order to have more information regarding resources on campus, and in order to become part of a recovery-friendly community on-campus.
“We know that it is usually a friend that a student in recovery or in need of recovery turns to for understanding,” Valentine said. “Allies can help create a recovery-friendly community at UConn, and be a guide to available resources at the moment of need.”
Valentine noted that the UConn Recovery Community will also be celebrating its 7th anniversary next week and is planning special events for students in recovery and their allies.
Amanda Kilyk is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.