When you think of September, what comes to mind? Back to school season and pumpkin spice lattes, right? But did you know that September’s other claim to fame is that it’s National Recovery Month?
This national observance was created in 1989 to increase public awareness about mental health and substance use recovery. By simply reading this article, you’re helping achieve this goal! We observe Recovery Month to “promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery in all its forms possible (https://www.samhsa.gov/recovery-month).”
All throughout the month, organizations hold events to raise awareness and to celebrate both those in recovery and who help pave the way for recovery. National Addiction Professionals Day will be celebrated on September 20 this year, as part of Recovery Month. Across the country, there are events and activities such as the Recovery Walk, announcements from SAMHSA of new initiatives and grant funding opportunities, and local celebrations. At AllHealth Network, we held an event at our drop-in center, Center Point, to celebrate clients and staff members who embody the spirit of recovery.
“Nearly 60 million Americans identify as being in recovery,” according to Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. The wide-ranging impact of these conditions means that recovery is for all of us, because recovery benefits all of us. Dr. Delphin-Rittmon shares four essential elements of recovery: access to effective healthcare, safe and affordable housing, sense of purpose, and supportive community.” While these elements enhance recovery, it’s important to note there are as many pathways to recovery as there are individuals. Recovery Month emphasizes “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.” Mental health and substance use concerns don’t impact everyone the same way, particularly members of historically marginalized communities. It’s vital we continue to expand existing views of mental health and substance use treatment to incorporate all experiences. We do this by educating ourselves, reducing stigma, advocating for access to treatment and resources, and promoting understanding of these issues in our communities. If you’d like to learn more, check out the links below. Thanks for reading and building awareness of Recovery Month!