We Welcome Matt Downes as Recovery Program Coordinator

Welcome, Matt Downes!

The Center for Student Wellness continues to grow! In expanding our work to prevent violence, reduce harm, improve mental health, and support survivors, we are excited to house the university’s collegiate recovery program, named Recovery @ the U.  Recovery @ the U exists as a community of support for sober students.

We would like to introduce you to our Recovery Program Coordinator, Matt Downes (he, his, him).  Matt has six years of experience working in drug/alcohol treatment centers.  Since June, he has been working on our team to plan and develop activities for the Fall semester.

Matt is passionate about being an active member of society and giving back to his community.  He is eager to inspire others to lead rewarding, active lives while committing to sobriety.  He acknowledges that life can be a struggle, so he is determined to create a welcoming and safe environment for students in recovery on campus.

Here’s a little bit more about Matt –

What is your favorite hobby?  Muay Thai (kickboxing).

What is one surprising thing about you? He loves to draw portraits and has a knack for putting anything he sees onto paper.  He often chooses not to use any drawing utensils and only uses a ballpoint pen (the cheaper, the better).  He says that “it helps with the flow state and putting absolute intent into every stroke.”

What has helped keep you grounded during the past tumultuous year?  To get outside of himself, he reaches out to loved ones, doing charitable acts and exercises.  He understands that exercising won’t solve his problems. Still, it puts him in a better headspace to better assess the situation, which also helps him refrain from impulsive decision-making.

What does wellness mean to you?  Matthew gave the analogy. “I would have to liken wellness to a multi-faceted cut diamond.  The multiple facets represent needs and desires, which need to be polished for light to shine through with more clarity.  They work together to refract, bend and emanate that light harmoniously with all of the other facets.  You also want the balance of not too shallow and not too deep.  The ideal cut style is well-proportioned and carefully shaped to achieve maximum brilliance.

What are you looking forward to most with your new position with CSW?  To be a part of something bigger than myself.

Please join us in welcoming Matt! You can reach him at mdownes@sa.utah.edu.