Marshall Provides Help for Those Seeking Recovery

To battle the state’s opioid pandemic and foster healing and growth in the community, the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network is offering peer recovery support and educational programs to help those seeking recovery.   

Susan Mullens, Collegiate Recovery’s program coordinator, said the network’s programs are open to students, staff and faculty. Mullens works with schools all over West Virginia who are interested in the program. She said many services and events are open to anyone in the community regardless of their location.  

The DHHR funds the network to help provide peer support specialists on seven campuses in southern West Virginia. Mullens said each collegiate recovery program has various offerings weekly from all recovery meetings, mindfulness, and stress management.  

Mullens said in addition to individual and group support therapy sessions, the network also provides recovery ally training which addresses the stigma of substance abuse and helps others learn about how to support individuals in recovery.   

Rebecca Tomblin, a senior psychology student at Marshall University, said she got involved with the recovery program at an overdose awareness event held last September. She is now an assistant recovery coach who helps with anonymous meetings where people can share resources and support those seeking recovery.   

“We offer meetings for people with substance abuse disorders and their families,” Tomblin said. “We also just offer recovery meetings for anyone struggling with addiction of any kind, not just substance abuse.”  

Tomblin said she also helps with outreach, and the network is trying to get more students involved with the program.  

Tomblin said the program includes SMART Recovery, which focuses on education through a four-point system including motivation, coping, management of thoughts and behaviors and living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. The program meets on Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m. online.   

Tomblin said the program is also involved with Gro Marshall, a meditation and wellness fellowship that seeks to foster neighborly service and self-care to support sustained sobriety. Gro Marshall meets on Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m. virtually and in-person.   

Mullens said the network is collaborating on events such as the Reducing Risk in Higher Ed Symposium on March 17. Because March is Gambling Awareness Month, the network is collaborating with the Gamblers Help Network to host a conference at the end of the month. The network is also holding gambling screening days and providing resources to those who wish to recover.   

Mullens said the network also helps people learn how to support individuals in recovery, and all programs are open to people who have been impacted by someone else’s use. Mullens said…