Supporting Sacred Heart University Students on the Road to Recovery


Sacred Heart University is proud to announce the expansion of the collegiate recovery program to include integrated recovery coaching with their partner-in-care, Progressive Institute. The services are available in person at the main campus in Fairfield, CT and virtually via telehealth.

Since 2019, Sacred Heart University and Progressive Institute have been committed to helping students in recovery live an exciting, healthy and happy drug and alcohol-free collegiate life. The students in the program are taught evidence-based recovery skills by licensed clinical therapists which will now be integrated with recovery coaches to help them apply these skills towards achieving personal and academic goals. The goal of the program is to give every student the best possible chance of achieving recovery success through physical, mental and spiritual growth.

“The start of the Collegiate Recovery Program was a major step forward for Sacred Heart in addressing the needs of today’s college students, particularly those dealing with substance use disorders. Our partnership with Progressive Institute was a natural part of the evolution of our efforts to provide a comprehensive program that meets the needs of these students. The Recovery Coaching program is unique in that it allows students to receive one-on-one connectivity to a personal recovery coach,” said Lawrence Wielk, Dean of Students.

The Integrated Recovery Coaching Approach

Recovery Coaches are trained to help people in recovery face uncertainty and build the resources necessary to achieve functional wellness. Research shows that the chances of long-term recovery can increase twofold with the help of a recovery coach.

The coaches also work to eliminate any stigma with recovery by making it less overwhelming, less isolating and more fun, enjoyable and sustainable. An important aspect to building trust with the student is that each Recovery Coach is in long-term recovery themselves, making them uniquely qualified to connect with each student.

“Having the appropriate level of continuous integrated support is what drives the success of recovery for all individuals. Progressive Institute is excited to be able to offer this service to the Sacred Heart community to encourage, inspire and assist individuals in creating a life of sustained wellness,” said Kerry Lassen, Clinical Director at Progressive Institute.

The program is specifically designed to account for the pressures that college students face and is geared towards building confidence, a sense of purpose and happiness that leads to freedom. The therapists and coaches collaborate with the student to design individualized programs to build strength, identify and overcome barriers to success, engage in regular check-ins and develop short and long-term goals.

The “Collegiate Recovery Program” for students includes:

  • On-campus recovery housing
  • Developing short and long-term recovery goals
  • Identifying barriers to success and developing pathways to recovery
  • Developing avenues to personal and academic success
  • Improving focus and wellness
  • Daily confidential check-ins with a personal recovery coach
  • Sober campus activities for all students
  • Integrated Recovery Coaching and therapy
  • SHU Prevention and Awareness Group meetings
  • On-campus in person and virtual meetings
  • Dedicated safe space located in the Recovery Lounge

SHU Prevention and Awareness Group

The SHU Prevention and Awareness Group is an additional and highly important component of the “Collegiate Recovery Program”. This group provides additional judge free support for students struggling with healthy decision making, peer pressure, stress and risky behavior with drugs and alcohol.

  • Developing healthy decision-making and coping skills
  • Learning stress management skills
  • Engaging in mindfulness techniques
  • Applying harm reduction techniques
  • Learning healthy relationships and effective communication skills
  • Understanding the consequences of substance use

Support is a Click or a Call Away

Students no longer have to manage the path to a healthier, happier life alone. With accountability, mentorship, support, supervision, compassion and more, Sacred Heart University and Progressive Institute are committed to supporting students in recovery.

For more information on the “Collegiate Recovery Program,” email [email protected] or call 914-849-8590.

Click here to download our brochure.

About Progressive Institute

Progressive Institute, based in Shelton, CT, is a dual-licensed psychiatric and substance use outpatient treatment facility. Through a unique combination of integrated research-backed treatment modalities, medical informatics, clinical therapy, recovery coaching, laboratory testing and medication-assisted treatment programs, the team is dedicated to helping individuals achieve long-term recovery.

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