MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – National Recovery Month is only 30 days this year but one West Virginia University resource continues to offer a space to help anyone who’s struggling at any time of year.
Serenity Place is part of the WVU Collegiate Recovery Program and is a space for students who are going through the recovery process.
“That could mean students looking to better their relationship with substances or alcohol or different kinds of disorders like eating disorders or just looking for a place to better their mental health,” Jeffrey Seabury, a WVU Graduate Student said.
The Serenity Place student leaders hold several weekly events to create a welcoming environment in order to get the discussion started around what they can do to help those around them.
“People come and it’s just a casual way to make friends and then you can realize all the resources that we can offer,” Mackenzie Randall, a WVU senior, said about their events.
“It’s all very community-based. It’s just making sure everyone is included. You don’t have to be activly in the recovery process to come here,” Seabury added.
Seabury said his undergraduate didn’t offer anything like Serenity Place and wishes they did. Randall agreed and felt every college and even high school should implement spaces like they have.
“I didn’t even know about it until my senior year … I wish I knew about it before because I could’ve benefitted. I have friends that could’ve benefitted,” Randall said.
As part of a big institution like WVU, Serenity Place leaders want to get the word out that they are available to students not only as a place to talk about recovery but also as a hangout spot to study or connect with others. The facility on Price Street includes a kitchen, living room, study room, gym and meditation room that all students can access.
“It’s fun to be here but it’s also serene being here. It is a serene place. I always walk out of here and I feel so much more relaxed,” Randall said.
Even if students aren’t struggling with addiction themselves, their lives can still be affected by it—which is why Serenity Place also hosts a loved one’s support group weekly.
“That’s a big percentage of people that come,” Randall said. “It’s just a nice space to hear what other people are going through just to be like ‘oh wow this is a shared experience I have and its cool to see that other people on campus can talk about it openly’. It really helps you work through things.”
In order to create a stress–free environment students aren’t asked why they’ve joined—they’re encouraged to just come in as they are to find what they need.
“Just take it one day at a time. Know you’re not alone and that these resources exist to help you with whatever you’re going through,” Seabury said.