Marshall University Creates Free App to Help Struggling Substance Addicted Students

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News May 11, 2021

Marshall university

In collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Marshall University will be offering help to students who have experienced substance use disorder amid the pandemic through a free smartphone app.

According to, the smartphone app named “Connections” and created by CHESS Health will be easy to use for managing addiction and will be free to residents of West Virginia.

The Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy with the WV DHHR, Matthew Christiansen, said that the app is a good option to connect with students who seek help for such struggles.

“If you’re a student in recovery, not yet in recovery, or just looking for support, the Connections app is a free, evidence-based tool to help you achieve your dreams. Recovery happens every day,” Christiansen said.

The app provides the following:

  • sobriety tracker
  • e-therapy & discussion groups
  • opportunity to connect with trained counselors & peers through chats
  • treatment planning & calendar reminders
  • journaling
  • clinical support
  • motivational videos

“The app was made available after licenses were purchased for 45 treatment organizations across the state, and unlimited access was made available for any individual residents who are not affiliated with a provider,” Marshall University noted in a release.

The managing director of Marshall University Research Corporation’s Center for Excellence and Recovery (COER), Amy Saunders, said that there is a long list of assistance options the university offers to students and the Connections app is just the latest to have joined the list, adding that there are various pathways to recovery.

“There are multiple pathways to recovery. The MU Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) strives to meet students where they are by offering supportive services and a healthy environment to enable students to be successful as they work toward their higher education dreams,” Saunders said, emphasizing that the university does its utmost to support students.

So far, through the app, students can attend both in-person and virtual group meetings on a regular basis, which include:

  • All-Recovery: a non-denominational, open meeting for participants struggling with addiction. 
  • SMART recovery: educational program on mental health focusing on changing human behavior.
  • SMART Recovery Family & Friends: a group assisting family and friends of addicted ones by providing the tools they need.
  • GRO Marshall: a wellness fellowship focusing on mind, body, and spirit by encouraging participants to connect to nature.

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