By Courtney Hibler
Youngstown State University has a recovery program and it is free to attend for students who struggle with addiction themselves or know of someone who does.
YSU for Recovery is available each fall and spring semester, but there is no set date or time for these sessions.
“Once there is more attendance, we could pick a set day and time that would benefit the most of the need,” Ryan McNicholas, assistant director of marketing, fitness and wellness programs, said.
The program has covered many different areas of addiction, such as gambling, overeating, substance use, alcohol abuse and more.
Brittany Oesch, a YSU social work senior, has been overseeing this recovery program for a year after McNicholas’ search for a student to help.
Oesch said she has a passion for helping others affected by addiction.
“I make sure I am available for anyone who has personally experienced and has been affected by addiction,” Oesch said. “The environment for this program is to make sure people feel safe.”
Oesch said she has a personal history with addiction and is an active member of a 12-step program.
YSU for Recovery is designed to help those with addiction cope, learn strategies to help themselves understand it and share their stories with others.
“Based on the demand and what the individual needs, is how we determine what to talk about that session and who comes to speak,” Oesch said.
McNicholas said the program has partnered with the Coalition for a Drug-Free Mahoning County.
“This will help establish partnerships in the community to help assist with the program,” McNicholas said.
Jacklyn Walters, a middle childhood education major at YSU, said she didn’t know this program existed.
“I would love to see signs about this program around areas such as Kilcawley,” Walters said. “Maybe even the campus emails in order to raise awareness for it.”
Walters has gone to YSU’s counselling center and suggests students should use this as an outlet as well.
“The counselling center helped me a lot and if the program is anything similar, students should check it out,” Walters said.
The Counselling Center is free to use for YSU students and for assistance, students can call 330-941-3737 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Karlee Briceland, psychology and sociology major at YSU, said the recovery program is a great idea for YSU students.
“I believe that a place where students can go and speak openly without judgment is very important,” Briceland said. “This also shows that YSU values the emotional and physical wellbeing of their students.”
Oesch said students should still check the program out if they’re hesitant.
“Something I have always told myself is, the moments that follow that point of maximum fear is when I experience the most growth,” Oesch said.
Next semester the recovery program will be held on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Kilcawley Center.