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Creating A National Collegiate Recovery Technical Assistance platform

Why is technical assistance so important to the collegiate recovery field? WAIT! I promise this will be interesting.  I know, when the phrase, ‘technical assistance’ is mentioned, people’s eyes glaze over. Usually, this is because they don’t understand what technical assistance involves. Did you know that the annual Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) conference is a form of technical assistance?

Or that the webinar series Transforming Youth Recovery (TYR) offers each semester to grantees is also a kind of collegiate recovery technical assistance? When you reach out to a collegiate recovery colleague, whether it be myself, or your ARHE regional representative, you are accessing direct technical assistance. As a member of the SAMHSA’s National Advisory Council, I have advocated for additional resources to help support our technical assistance efforts. Some of you may have received support through SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS program this past year. That was a result of our call to action to the SAMHSA administration to increase capacity for support for our population, especially in relation to diversity issues. While that program has concluded, technical assistance is alive and well at the national and local levels thanks to ARHE and TYR. While we celebrate our successes, we also acknowledge how much work we still must do. No one person, organization, or CRP director can provide the level of services needed to effectively develop, implement, and evaluate collegiate recovery technical assistance. Equally as obvious is the need for continued coordination of efforts across the various organizations providing technical assistance. Let’s take BRSS TACS goal for technical assistance as an example of what collegiate recovery technical assistance could look like. Just for fun, I will insert collegiate recovery lingo where appropriate:

The major aim of BRSS TACS is the transformation of {campuses} and communities to better meet the needs of {students} in recovery. It hopes to do this by promoting {collegiate} recovery supports, and services informed and guided by {students} in recovery; sharing information on evidence-based and emerging practices; consolidating existing resources through an online {collegiate} recovery library; widely disseminating state-of-the-art information on {collegiate} recovery supports and services; diffusing innovative practices; reviewing and analyzing research related to {collegiate} recovery supports and services. (Retrieved June 18, 2018 https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/faq.pdf).

It is my goal to continue to collaborate with our amazing collegiate recovery professionals at ARHE and TYR to build a national collegiate recovery technical assistance platform. Just imagine, we could have access to resources with a click of a button! For information about TYR: transformingyouthrecovery.org/

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