Turning Point Center comes to CU to help

As part of their Peer Recovery Outreach Program, the Turning Point Recovery Center has come to Castleton University for free recovery coaching.

Due to a lack of transportation for people in Rutland County for recovery services, the Peer Recovery Outreach Program was created, bringing the resource to the community. A satellite location has already been established in Fair Haven, and more are expected to be set up around the county.

“The Turning Point Center is a resource for people who are in recover, want to get in recovery, or have families who have addiction issues. It’s a place where they can go to have individual coaching, or group coaching.,” said Lewis Nielson, a recovery coach who is coming to Castleton’s program.

The Center also helps individuals in recovery find housing, food, and work options.

The individual recovery coaching is offered for free on campus as a part of PROP.

Jo Salisbury, another recovery coach who will work with Castleton students and staff, added, “It’s a peer support system.” The coaches are not psychotherapists; they are fellow people who have dealt with substance abuse and addiction. “We’re coaches meant to help coaches, but we’re just people helping people.”

“It’s important that we’re all a part of the same community and supporting each other,” she said.

The coaching is conversational; it’s a two-way street.

Kyle Burditt, the Recovery Resource Coordinator and Recovery Coach supervisor, said that the “gap” in people’s access to transportation to the center became highlighted, “while following COVID restrictions,” and thus PROP was born.

“Students may be abusing substances, but not realizing they have a substance abuse problem going on. At the end of the day… we’re another support, someone to talk to, someone to direct you to other resources. Whether it ends up being the substance or other things,” Salisbury said.

Nielson, who mentioned he had dealt with substance abuse issues while in college, added, “When I was in college, there were no resources. Even if I had wanted to reach out, there would have been no one to talk to.”

They are that exact resource for Castleton students, faculty, and staff.

“We’re there as an informational resource, whether someone wants to use us or not,” he said.

Turning Point is striving to break the stigma that surrounds substance abuse.

”It’s planting a seed for later, for when you’re a little older and maybe more ready to reach out for help. I used to be an angsty teen… I remember having low moments and thinking ‘I wish I had somebody to talk to.’ We can be that,” said Salisbury

“This is a disease that affects everyone around you. Anyone around an alcoholic or addict is certainly welcome to talk to us, too,” Lewis said.

“As addiction does not discriminate, the student and faculty population at Castleton matches very well with our target population which spans from college-aged to retired,” said Burditt

The Turning Point Center Director, Tracie Hauck, has helped the center get the funding for more outreach to the communities in Rutland County. 

“It’s amazing that your school is being open to this. From my experience… by accepting a program like this, most staff think they’re saying, ‘This is a problem only we’re facing,’ rather than ‘This is a problem everyone faces,” added Salisbury.

Salisbury and Nielson are excited that Castleton University is taking this initiative. They mentioned that a lot of schools are ignorant or punitive to recovery and addiction issues. They said that glad that Castleton is not afraid of stigma around recovery.

Martha Coulter, the Director of the Wellness Center, said, “We’re really fortunate to have Turning Point choose Castleton, with two coaches who really understand substance abuse and understand how reluctant people are to get help.”

Lewis and Jo are in the Campus Center on Mondays from 11-3, available to meet over zoom. Contact the Turning Point Center at (802-)773-6010 or email Kyle kyleturningpointrutland@gmail.com look around campus for flyers for more contact information.

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