Students do not have to sacrifice education over their recovery from addiction, says psychology professor Onawa LaBelle.
A group she launched at the beginning of the summer provides a supportive peer environment that reinforces any student’s decision to abstain from substances during their university experience.
The Lancers Recover Program is the first Canadian collegiate recovery program to join the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, and has been holding weekly Zoom meetings since May to create a safe space for students to discuss their recovery experiences.
Psychology student Meagan Park, an administrative assistant with the program, notes that measures to deal with COVID-19 necessitated changes.
“The format had to be adapted for the present circumstances,” Park acknowledges. “We have also facilitated several sobriety-enhancing social events, including educational presentations, a comedy show, and socially-distanced ice cream in the park.”
The group has received a grant from the Student Mental Health Strategy Fund and plans outreach activities during Welcome Week.
“Though the current global situation has been difficult for many, the Lancers Recover Program has been able to provide a modicum of stability for several University of Windsor students in recovery,” Park says. “It is a gratifying start to this project.”
Learn more on the program website, www.lancersrecover.com.