The Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery invited students to paint rocks for a Recovery Rock Garden on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at the Kennesaw Campus Green to recognize National Recovery Month.
During the event, which lasted from 12 to 2 p.m., students were encouraged to paint optimistic messages and positive designs onto rocks in order to show support for people recovering from addiction.
Some designs included text messages, such as one rock that declared “Happy Recovery Month!” in bright yellow text.
Other designs portrayed nature scenes, with paintings of everything from butterflies to full landscapes. Flowers were an especially popular design to reflect the theme of the rock garden. In general, the artwork promoted depictions of growth, renewal and positivity.
The collection of painted rocks will be displayed in a rock garden at the end of the month in front of CYAAR locations on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses. On the Kennesaw campus, they are located in University Village Building 6000 in suites 6131 through 6140 and on the Marietta campus in the Joe Mack Wilson Student Center suite 260.
CYAAR provided smooth rocks, acrylic paint, brushes and paint markers to students for the purposes of the project. Students who participated in the activity remarked that the experience was therapeutic as they discussed their interest in art with one another.
“We wanted to have something that could represent Recovery Month more long term once September is over,” Student assistant at CYAAR Frankie Berryman said. “Recovery Month is just a way for us to get loud and tell people that recovery exists and get people to understand what recovery and recovery allyship means.”
In addition to the artistic activity, stickers, pins and informational guides were available to students. One such informational guide offered was the Addictionary, which is a card small enough to fit in a wallet and recommends language to use that does not stigmatize people in recovery. For example, “person with a substance use disorder” is presented as an alternative to the word “alcoholic.”
Berryman emphasized that the center wants all students to get involved and show support, not necessarily only students who are in recovery themselves.
For those who missed the event on Wednesday, CYAAR will continue to host rock-painting sessions three times a week for the rest of the month. In addition, CYAAR hopes to continue hosting the event annually in the years to come, Berryman said.
CYAAR offers a variety of other services, including free counseling to Kennesaw State students who are concerned about their substance use, undergraduate research opportunities and recovery ally training.
Information for all of the events that CYAAR is hosting, including future Recovery Rock Garden painting sessions, can be found on OwlLife. Interested individuals can also visit their website or follow CYAAR’s Instagram account, @KSUWeDoRecover, for more updates.