Female student smilingWhat is recovery? Recovery, in my opinion, is the process by which one returns to a state of health and balance that promotes feelings of happiness, self-worth, relevance, productivity, and love. A successful recovery is not defined by a number or a DSM-5 criteria, but by an individual changing their life outlook to feel more positive and encouraged for the present and future. National Recovery Month 2014, just like the previous 22 instances of this national observance, strives to bring awareness to those struggling with their own health (physical, mental, and emotional) and let people know that there are resources at their disposal. People who care. People who dedicate their lives to promoting and supporting those who have fallen victim to overwhelming issues.

One of the most affected groups of people who have destructive thoughts are college students. As a current college student, I can whole-heartedly say that insecurity surrounds the college experience. There is a never ending list of issues that young adults struggle with: alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, relationship abuse, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, muscle dysmorphia, bullying, and many more various struggles on this non-inclusive list. During this period of growth and change, as young adults finally branch out and leave home, the transition to new friends, new homes, and new environments can prove difficult on all students as they leave the old for the new.

College administrators need to make an effort to educate students about the decisions which face them in college. Typical education plans colleges stress including safe drinking, depression screening, moderate and healthy eating, among others. In addition, many universities offer counseling and health services departments which students can reach out to with issues they may be having. These health departments often have licensed psychiatrists, social workers, and other medical professionals who talk to students about their problems at no cost. If these professionals think a student needs more help than they can provide, they will reach out to area medical organizations and non-profits to help promote your recovery.

In addition, there are plenty of resources off campus for students to use if they don’t want to approach someone at college. Organizations such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism, National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Eating Disorder Association provide countless resources including suggestions as to next steps in your recovery and toll – free numbers to call for additional guidance.

If you are a college student and feel alone, please don’t. National Recovery Month is an entire month dedicated to showing you that there is always help, on and off campus.

About the Author

photoBlake Strader is Walden’s Social Media Intern.  In this role, he is responsible for researching topics related to Walden’s business, writing blog posts, and keeping the public up-to-date on Walden’s doings via Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and LinkedIn. Currently, Blake is in pursuit of a Computer and Information Systems degree from Bentley University.