By: Sarah Nerad
I don’t know about your campus, but National Recovery Month flew by for us at The Ohio State University and Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD). When we weren’t speaking at various events both on and off campus, we were moving our signing wall (photos below!) around campus or wearing our Scarlet, Gray and Sober shirts with pride.
Our goal for this National Recovery Month was to raise the visibility of our Collegiate Recovery Community on our campus. There were a number of activities that we organized to make that happen. Our team could not have done any of it without the various campus and community partnerswho ensured our September was a success.
All month long, we had multiple ads on our campus buses highlighting the University’s recovery allies. We are able to reuse them year after year. These spotlights were posted on our social media channels and we tagged the individual and their organization in them to increase the exposure. We also had our ally spotlight images & Recovery Month events calendar all over campus on our digital screens.
The CRC team brought our signing wall to new places throughout campus every Wednesday for a few hours to get students to show their support for Buckeyes in recovery. We had the Dean of the College of Social work stop by along with Brutus Buckeye! The various locations chosen increased exposure to different groups of faculty, staff and students. We plan to hang our signing wall up in the CRC as a reminder that we are never alone in our journey.
We planned on holding a Recovery Monthwalk on campus, but it was canceled due to the weather. Folks still showed up and told us they were willing to participate in it rain or shine! Fingers crossed for better weather next year because the walk seemed like it was going to be a big hit!
The President of our university issued a proclamation declaring September a National Recovery Month on campus. This was definitely the highlight of the month. We plan on getting it framed and hanging it up in the CRC for years to come.Ohio State wasn’t the only university to celebrate National Recovery Month. Check out these other schools that were hosting innovative and successful events this past September.
Virginia Common Wealth University’s Rams in Recovery created a “Free Hot Coffee” bike. Students in recovery ride across campus to hand out a free cup of their specialty blend of pour-over coffee called recovery roast and have one-on-one conversations about addiction and recovery. Read more about it here.
For the past few years, Kennesaw State University has held their annual Run for Recovery. This 5k is a benefit to raise money for their recovery programming on campus. The Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery used to organize it, but now the Center for Health Promotion and Wellness has taken the lead on it. What a great example of getting other departments on campus involved in Recovery Month efforts!
What worked for you this month? What ideas can you share with other campuses? Do you think you were successful in raising the visibility of your campus? Let us know how the HECAOD can help you plan and prepare for National Recovery Month next year.