Investing in the potential of people: Social Work doctoral students contribute to funding of WSU’s first Collegiate Recovery Program

A $55,000 grant from the Jamie Daniels Foundation will be instrumental in launching Wayne State University’s first Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP). According to the National Library of Medicine, “ U.S. college campuses have witnessed a national increase of cannabis, stimulant, and illicit drug use among students over the past decade. Substance use among college students is associated with numerous negative outcomes including lower academic performance, a higher probability of unemployment after graduation, and an increased risk of committing and experiencing sexual assault.”

Michael Broman, a Master of Social Work graduate and current Doctoral Program student at WSU, has dedicated much of his time to the fields of substance use disorder treatment and prevention. He received a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Student Award Program grant to study the barriers and facilitators to substance use disorder recovery among college students, so it makes sense that Broman will be actively involved in the launch of the recovery program.

Michael Broman smiling
Social Work Doctoral Student Michael Broman

“I’m helping to design a needs assessment survey to be distributed to potential program participants. Later on, I will be conducting a program evaluation,” Broman said.

The CRP will be a standalone office located alongside and collaborating with Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), the Campus Health Center, and the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education in the Health and Wellness division.

Broman, Social Work Professor and Doctoral Director Stella Resko, Social Work Doctoral Student Emily Pasman, School of Medicine University Counselor III Kirk Guanco, and Senior Director of Foundation Relations Julie Burtch provided valuable assistance with the grant application.

“This work was important to me because when I met college students who were in community-based recovery programs, they talked about how they struggled to find support at school. In my study, several participants expressed the same struggle. This grant will facilitate a place for students in recovery on campus to connect, feel safe, and feel welcome,” Broman said.

The program will be open to students in recovery, no matter what pathway to recovery they pursue. Services will be provided based on needs assessments.

Findings from research conducted by Broman and his colleagues were used to support the grant application.

“We interviewed 17 participants and utilized thematic analysis to analyze the data. Overall, participants faced pressures to use substances, juggled multiple responsibilities, and experienced feelings of exclusion and lack of support, especially on campus,” Broman said.

The Jamie Daniels Foundation grants funds to support community partners that provide programs, resources, and solutions that address the ongoing drug epidemic in our country.

“With the Jamie Daniels Foundation grant, we will be able to improve things for students in recovery at Wayne State,” he said.

Emily Pasman
Social Work Doctoral Student Emily Pasman

Estimates suggest as many as 1,000 WSU students consider themselves in recovery from a substance use problem,” Pasman said.

“This CRP will benefit the school by helping students maintain their recovery and be healthier and more successful,” said Jeffrey Kuentzel, the WSU Counseling and Psychological Services director and psychologist who will oversee the CRP.

The initiative brings together experts from across state to benefit students in recovery. “This is a collaboration between Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), the School of Social Work (Resko, Pasman, and Broman), and the School of Medicine (Guanco). The Dean of Students Office is also providing support. We will partner externally with other CRPs regionally, including those at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Oakland University. Our CRP is funded by the Jamie Daniels Foundation in conjunction with the Children’s Foundation,” Kuentzel said.

The program is expected to launch in July.

“As a person in recovery myself, returning to school was one of the best things I could have done for my self-esteem, my family, and my career. I am so thankful to the Jamie Daniels Foundation and WSU for recognizing and investing in the potential of people in recovery,” Pasman said.

Author: Laura Hipshire

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