When Sara arrived on campus, she was surprised that there was no service dedicated to helping students in recovery from addiction at UBC.
“I came to UBC from Colorado. Collegiate Recovery Programs are relatively common on campuses in the States and are well used, but there wasn’t anything at UBC. I also know from my practice as a social worker and my own experience of being in recovery, how valuable supportive communities can be.
But being new to campus I didn’t want to impose a solution, so I did a study with the help of an AMS Impact Grant. I talked to UBC students who are in recovery and asked about what services they would like and there was a real desire for something dedicated to supporting recovery, led by peers with lived experience.”
Plans for a Student Recovery Community, the first of its kind in Canada, were quickly established but it took a moment of persistence to get the project moving:
“President Ono visited our Department and spent some time asking PhD students what they were working on. You don’t get long to explain, so I just made a point of saying ‘student recovery community’ as many times as possible and somehow that message stuck and the University agreed to support the idea of a recovery community. Dr. Heather Robertson, Executive Director, Student Health & Wellbeing has been instrumental in helping us to get started.”
The Student Recovery Community received start-up support from VP Students in September 2019, offering confidential support for those in recovery or those wanting to face addictive behaviours for the first time. This includes:
“We try and provide a safe, supportive and inclusive atmosphere to help our participants identify their self-directed recovery goals. Most of our work is done through small group meetings but we have one to one sessions, for anyone who feels uncomfortable in a group setting.”
- Weekly All Recovery Meetings: An All-Recovery meeting is peer-based, and welcomes all who struggle with addiction, are affected by addiction, are wondering if they may have a problem, are curious about recovery and/or support the recovery lifestyle.
- Drop-in hours: A safe space to come and hang out with other students in recovery! We always have plenty of free snacks, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.
- One-on-one support: Often times, students who are in recovery or struggling with addiction and/or are curious to find out if they may have a problem or if recovery might be for them, want to talk in a safe, private, confidential setting with another student who can relate.
Want to contact the team
via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
via Instagram: @recovery_ubc