Recognizing the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the mental health of college students, Caron Treatment Centers has launched a program called Semester of Support to treat primary mental health diagnoses as well as substance use disorders.
Participants in the program stay at Caron Renaissance in Boca Raton, Florida, where they receive outpatient-level treatment for mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses. During the day, they continue taking remote classes from their home college or university, or pursue vocational opportunities. In the evening, clinical services include group therapy five nights a week, as well as individual therapy sessions.
The program offers:
- Guided exploration of vocational/professional opportunities
- Help with setting academic/vocational and personal goals
- Volunteer opportunities
- Job and internship placement
- Optional tutoring
- Resume services
Caregivers in the program also track how participants are presenting in school and handling assignments, as well as their ability to stay organized, manage their time and demonstrate other adult living skills.
Semester of Support is an offshoot of Caron’s Student Success program, which was launched 10 years ago to offer substance use disorder treatment to teens and young adults. Semester of Support builds on that concept by helping college students navigate struggles with anxiety, depression and pent-up isolation that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, says Jonathan Saltzburg, Caron’s executive director of collegiate recovery services.
“We’re trying to provide structure, accountability and support, with the hopes that if more individuals need it, if you have students leaving college campuses that need support and may not be doing well at home and need structure and communal support, we’re able to offer that in a safe and effective way,” Saltzburg tells Addiction Professional. “And we can look at underlying clinical concerns that are happening.”