National Recovery Month at TCU raises awareness of all types of recovery

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Flag display in the TCU Commons representing statistics of TCU students in recovery. (Allie Brown/TCU 360)

By Allie Brown, Staff Writer

With tacos, cookies, wellness workshops, goat yoga and more, TCU’s Counseling and Mental Health Center pushed National Recovery Month to new heights this year.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, aims to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery year-round, but every September, many organizations, non-profits and schools get involved – including TCU.

“Our goal this month, this year was to do at least 10 events,” said Caroline Sahba, Assistant Director of Substance Use and Recovery Services at TCU. “I think at my last count we were up to 12.”

TCU uses National Recovery Month as a way to bring light to the fact that there are TCU students who are in recovery from a number of things, and they’re not alone, Sahba said.

In the past year, over 1,400 students said they thought they had a problem with drugs or alcohol, and more than 215 students received treatment for drugs or alcohol.

“You know, you aren’t the only person who’s maybe had that past or that path, and you might be able to help someone who has a similar experience,” Sahba said. “I think, with shame and stigma, all that, all those secrets that prevents somebody from getting help because they really think I’m the only person who’s ever been through this. When in reality, the person sitting next to you in class could have the very same experience.”

TCU has a number of peer support communities where students can be authentic and open with each other about their experiences with all types of recovery, such as substance abuse, trauma and eating disorders.

TCU’s peer support communities meet weekly, as well as hosting get-togethers and events outside of meeting times.

A list of all of TCU’s peer support communities and how to join can be found at https://counseling.tcu.edu/peersupport/.

The Counseling and Mental Health Center also hosts fun and stress-relieving events that are open to all TCU students, which can be found on their department event calendar, or by keeping an eye on the [email protected] Instagram, Facebook or website.

“One of our former students used to say that if you’re not having fun in sobriety, then you’re doing it wrong,” Sahba said. “So we really try to emulate that, to have those events, to have things that are, you know, natural sources of dopamine and just connection with other people who are similar to [the student(s)].”