From Meagan Dewitt, Family Engagement Specialist: “The Alumni Group has been working on a few different projects to keep Lund Alumni connected after leaving the residential program. The Alumni Newsletter, along with a Facebook Group for alumni, the holiday potluck, and an Alumni phone tree, were some of the ideas generated in the Alumni Group in Fall of 2015. We are excited to share with you the first issue of the newsletter. Over the past few months, Alumni Group members have been working together to create the content of the of the Newsletter and reaching out to others for support. This included creating the question box for residents to submit questions to “Ask Alumni” and choosing a “Featured Alumni” to interview. The Alumni group will be sending out a new issue each quarter and group members already have some great ideas for the Spring issue.”
The Alumni Group is part of family engagement work at Lund, the focus of which is to strengthen family support systems for women in treatment. Meagan and our other family engagement specialist, Laura May Ackley, work with women before they leave Lund and for six months afterwards to help them reconnect, repair and redefine relationships with family members, friends and community organizations that will be supportive of and helpful to them. They can help women manage the practical needs of independent living and parenting while in recovery and follow up with them to make sure that they and their children are thriving in the community. They travel all over Vermont to follow up with women who have returned to their hometowns or relocated elsewhere in Chittenden County.
The work is funded by the SAMHSA grant that Lund received in November of 2014. Both Meagan and Laura May’s positions are new but the need is not. Clients would frequently leave Lund doing really well and then start to struggle after a couple of months. Clients themselves would also often say that they wished they had something to hold on to after they left. The Alumni Newsletter is a great tool to help with this.
Click here to read the Winter 2016 Alumni Newsletter.