September marks the 26th National Recovery Month, a nationwide campaign established by SAMHSA. The agency is offering a calendar of events, resources and a toolkit of multimedia materials that is free to download.
Several treatment providers and advocates are participating by hosting events and encouraging those in recovery to share their stories.
For example, Addiction.com, a consumer-facing website created this year by Elements Behavioral Health, is asking its virtual community to share personal photos that best illustrate how their sober life is better. One storyteller, Katie MacBride, posted a photo of herself with her dog Sally, noting that “before I got sober, I never would have been able to care for a dog.”
According to experts at Rogers Behavioral Health in Wisconsin, Recovery Month underscores the messages that:
- Behavioral health is directly connected to a person’s overall health;
- Prevention is effective;
- Treatment is successful; and
- Recovery is possible.
Behavioral health providers have collectively seen more positive treatment outcomes as they shift to a recovery-oriented model of care, but even so, according to Rogers, the recovery process is far from easy.
“At Rogers, we train patients for the marathon that the recovery process is; it’s not just a 100-meter dash to the finish. Their real work is just beginning after their discharge and it’s up to them to continue on their journey to wellness,” said Michael M. Miller, MD, FASAM, FAPA, medical director of Rogers’ Herrington Recovery Center, in a statement today.
Experts believe sharing stories during Recovery Month can help to reduce mental health stigma and help individuals through the recovery process.