Catamounts For Recovery



Catamounts For Recovery provides a safe and supportive space for like-minded Catamounts to come together in a community that encourages each other to pursue a rich and successful collegiate experience in sustained recovery from drugs, alcohol and addictive behaviors.

Students will receive support as they break down stigmas and champion recovery while building integrity; responsibility; respect; and celebrating their collegiate experience.

If you or your student needs resources either on campus, in our local community, or their home community, we will work with you find the best fit possible.  Oftentimes a student may need more in-depth counseling, or need treatment that is not available to them on campus.    Christy Wyatt at Counseling and Psychological Services can develop a free, confidential, and personalized plan.

Campus Referrals
Students have many academic, personal, and emotional needs to ensure they have all the supports necessary to thrive while in college.  We can help connect students to Student Support Services, Disability Services, Department of Student Community Ethics, tutoring, career counseling, and many other departments on campus.  We want to ensure they have a well-rounded support system in place.

Community Referrals
If a student would rather see a therapist or psychiatrist in the community or would be better served by a community mental health provider, we will work directly with the student to ensure that their needs will be met in the most expedient way possible.  If there are transportation issues, we will help connect them with Jackson County Transit.

Residential Treatment
At times, a student may need more substantive treatment which may include residential treatment or hospitalization.  Again, we will work with the student to meet their personal needs and attempt to work with their academic schedule to meet those needs.  Many residential treatment providers attempt to support the students by providing short term treatment while the student is on a semester break.

Screening and Assessment
If you are unsure if you have a substance use problem or a process addiction (behavioral problem) and would like further assessment, Christy Wyatt can also offer a free, confidential, and in depth assessment.  Upon completion of the assessment, Christy will work with the student to develop a personalized plan.  That could include services at CAPS or a referral to a community provider or even a residential treatment provider.  Also, the Department of Student Community Ethics has many more educational resources available including a link to a confidential brief screening tool.  

Dear Parents:

As you send your student to Western Carolina University, it is important that there be a recovery-friendly support network available for your student.  Having available a network of individuals and groups is important for your student’s overall academic mental and physical health.  As you consider different options and opportunities available to your student, please consider the following:

  1. Ownership and Autonomy.  It is important that your student be able to ask the questions they need as they make program choices on campus that can support them in their recovery.  As a parent, be supportive yet allow your student to take care of some of the footwork as this develops autonomy and independence.
  2. Healthy Compromise.  Discuss the options available with your student, be supportive but also know that they are an individual and their needs may be different than your own.  Work out a healthy compromise together.
  3. Support.  Know that a collegiate recovery community is not a treatment program.  It is designed to offer support, guidance, resources, and be a safe place for your student to meet and engage in life with like-minded individuals.

Keep the conversation open and keep it going.  Discuss their challenges and their perceptions of drinking on campus.  As a parent be aware of the support systems in place on campus so that if your student starts to comment on not being able to meet anyone else who is choosing not to drink, you can direct them to resources available to them.  

Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.  Your student is learning how to be independent and often wants to be able to figure it out on their own.  By asking thoughtful questions, your student may come to the same conclusion you want them to.

Again, if you as a parent, have any questions about recovery on our campus, resources available to them, or if your student has any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

All our best,

Christy Newell Wyatt, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CSI
Counselor/Substance Use Specialist
Counseling and Psychological Services  |  225 Bird Building
828.227.7469 tel  |  828.227.7004 fax  |   | 


Catamounts For Recovery (CFR) at Western Carolina University is housed within Counseling and Psychological Services.  CFR provides a supportive, fun, affirming environment in which students recovering from a variety of addictive disorders and behaviors can thrive and achieve academic success.  CFR encourages students in recovery to take ownership of their personal and intellectual development and be accountable to themselves, each other and the larger community.  CFR provides resources to help students strengthen life skills including effective communication, appreciation and respect for diversity, wellness, creative problem solving and critical thinking.  In addition, students learn how to use their personal experiences to talk with their college peers about what recovery means to them.

 CFR offers trainings, seminars, resources and fun sober activities that support both ongoing recovery and academic achievement.  The goal is for students to be able to take full advantage of educational opportunities at WCU and remain active in their individual programs of recovery without sacrificing one for the other.

CFR also welcomes those students who are allies of students in recovery to join us for our sober activities.

Many students in recovery are returning college students or transferring to WCU.  CFR provides a supportive safe place for students while helping them navigate the university system and connect with each other and resources on campus.  We want students to thrive at WCU.

Please note that CFR is not a treatment program and is not intended to replace individual or group therapy. 

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