Western Michigan University students will be getting hands-on experience fighting the opioid epidemic hitting the state thanks to a $1.35 million federal grant. The funding is from the Health Resources and Services Administration and will support WMU’s Michigan Youth Prevention and Recovery from Opioid Youth Disorders program, known as MY-PROUD for short.

The team will work with core health care and school partners to make students and community service providers more equipped to prevent, treat and support recovery from opioid use disorders, particularly with youth and transitionally aged adults. The project targets Calhoun, Jackson, Muskegon and Van Buren counties, which have the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths and lowest access to behavioral health care in the state. Congressman Fred Upton helped to secure the grant, and says he’s “encouraged that Western Michigan University is showing commitment to address this epidemic and that they will be given more resources to do so.”