Oftentimes, individuals who experience mental health or a substance use disorder feel isolated and alone. Yet, every year, millions of Americans experience these conditions. It’s important that we offer support to individuals facing mental health and substance use disorders. In fact, we need to create environments and relationships that promote acceptance. Support from families is essential to recovery, so it’s important that family members have the tools to start conversations about prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Too many people are still unaware that prevention works and that mental health and substance use disorders can be treated, just like other health problems.
Having worked in the recovery field for 5 years and having seen recovery change the lives of those I love, I have witnessed the positive reality of recovery. Individuals who embrace recovery achieve improved mental and physical health and form stronger relationships with their neighbors, family members, and peers. We need to make more people feel as though recovery is possible.
Mental health and substance use disorders affect people of all ethnicities, ages, genders, geographic regions, and socioeconomic levels. They need to know that help is available. These individuals can get better, both physically and emotionally, with the support of a welcoming community.
Families and communities can find hope and spread the message that recovery works by celebrating the annual Recovery Month.
Drug Free Ozarks is celebrating Recovery Month by honoring individuals and families who are in recovery. Help us celebrate by supporting the recovery community, including those who provide prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. Check out Drug Free Ozarks on Facebook to find information about events happening during the month of September, including a Recovery Jamboree and Narcan training.
I urge all community members to join the celebration and help stem the incidence of mental health and substance use disorders. Let people know that free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day through SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or you can find local resources on the Drug Free Ozarks interactive map.
Offering support to those experiencing mental health and substance use disorders can make a huge difference. Together we can help others realize the promise of recovery and give families the right support to help their loved ones.
Marietta Hagan, Project Coordinator
Stone & Taney Counties Substance Use Initiative