West Virginia University is launching a new program to support students seeking help recovering from addiction.

The WVU Collegiate Recovery Program will seek to establish a community at the University for those both supporting and seeking a culture of recovery. While the program itself is not intended to provide counseling or direct recovery assistance, it will seek to surround students in various recovery programs and/or counseling with a supporting community to ensure they can still achieve academic success.

William Schafer, vice president of Student Life, said the program was developed to increase awareness of addiction – and to extend support and create a safe place for affected WVU students – through a collaborative and strategic paradigm.

“We know that many students come to us with addiction and recovery issues, and we want the Collegiate Recovery Program to give them the necessary support to cope with it and overcome them in a safe environment,” Schafer said.

Cathy Yura, who brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in counseling and recovery support, will lead the program as its director and spearhead its strategic direction. She will plan efforts, allocate resources and develop policy, procedures and screening protocols to help front-line staff identify students at-risk for addiction.

“WVU has the opportunity to provide a safe haven for students to support President Gordon Gee’s message of culture change through the creation of the CRP,” Yura said. “Young adults need a program that encourages sobriety and leads the way to student recovery.”

Supporting students in recovery has been part of Yura’s life work. She has visited several peer institutions with partners from Behavioral Health to collect important information from existing collegiate recovery programs to develop a successful program at WVU.

“Our goal is to establish an environment to engage students in a culture that embraces recovery so to continue their development academically, socially, spiritually, physically and emotionally while at WVU,” Yura said. “This program will be a bridge to the many resources and support WVU and the state offers students who are in recovery or are seeking recovery. It will offer parents reassurance that their students will have the resources needed if their student has been in treatment or dealing with an addiction.”

Yura will collaborate with campus and community programs and experts to develop this program and ensure that students facing addiction and substance abuse challenges have the right experts, information and resources at their disposal.

“She has a great deal of expertise and passion for this issue and WVU is committed to making addiction recovery and the sobriety of students a priority,” Schafer said.

Students interested in helping create this culture or seeking more information can email mountaineerrecovery@mail.wvu.edu.

Effective immediately, WELLWVU will report directly to Schafer, who will evaluate the strategic goals and future leadership plans of the program in order to allow Yura to focus on her new role.



CONTACT: University Relations/News

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