DePaul CRC and Recovery Allyship

Recovery can look different ways and mean many different things. Someone can identify as being in recovery from anything from a substance use disorder, anxiety, depression and a host of other things. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration broadly and inclusively defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”

Many people may identify as being in recovery, including students at DePaul. DePaul is home to the DePaul Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC). CRC is a weekly space at DePaul for those who identify as being in recovery from a variety of things from mental health concerns to substance use to eating concerns. CRC provides a safe, nurturing and supportive space for students to improve their own health, direct their own lives and be successful in all facets of life.

With recovery come many misconceptions and myths. It is important we acknowledge and dispel these misconceptions and myths in order to build a more supportive and inclusive community and work to take care of DePaul; from ourselves, to those around us, to our community at large. Some common myths and misconceptions surrounding recovery include…

  • “Mental health concerns only affect a small number of people”: Not true! Lots of people have mental health concerns and no two look the exact same. They run the gamut from very covert to very overt concerns. In fact, the CDC reports that roughly 1 in 5 adults in the US experience some form of mental concern, a number that is likely even higher than reported. Though remember, there is no hierarchy for mental health. There is no “more important” or “less important”. All mental health is important. Let’s dispel that myth while we’re at it too!
  • “Substance use is a moral issue”: This is not true and is a harmful myth. We know that substance use disorders can arise for a number of reasons with contributing factors like genetic predisposition. We also understand that substance use disorders can be exceptionally challenging and have serious effects even long after an individual has stopped using substances.
  • “Recovery only applies to folx with substance use disorders”: Recovery can look many different ways. An individual may identify as being in recovery from substance use, mental health concerns or eating concerns, just to name a few!


So now we know a few common myths, but you might be wondering what do I do with this info or how do I be a good ally for people who identify as being in recovery? Well these are all great questions! We have a few tips to being a good recovery ally… 

  • Take time to listen: You don’t always have to have all the answers but you can listen attentively.
  • Be supportive: Being a good ally can mean encouraging and supporting an individual in recovery; supporting through challenging times, celebrating accomplishments and encouraging growth.
  • Educate yourself: Learn to identify signs that someone may be struggling. You can look for changes in attitude, behavior, energy, hygiene and appearance, enjoyment of usual activities, etc. Learn how to support individuals in different ways.
  • Step back and take care of yourself: You can’t pour from an empty cup so it’s important to remember to take the time you need to be healthy and happy. In the long run, this will make your allyship sustainable and make you a better ally.
  • Become a certified Recovery Ally: Get certified as a recovery ally for free through the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. Our next training will be Friday December 4th from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM. You can register through for the training through this link on DeHub!


Wherever you fall on the spectrum, there is a space for you here. If you identify as being in recovery and want to see what CRC is all about, check out DeHub, or send our Substance Misuse Prevention Specialist – Katie Bellamy – an email at! If you want to learn more about recovery or becoming an ally, I recommend you attend the training listed above; it’s extremely informative and useful and you will walk away with some great new tools! If you aren’t sure where to start, if you’re struggling, if you need support or someone to talk to, or you just want to learn more, please reach out to the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness. We are always here for you!


Phone: 773-325-7129


Social Media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @healthydepaul


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