National Recovery Month was established in 1989 and has evolved and expanded immensely since then. We celebrate the achievements of people in recovery from all facets of behavioral health and the many organizations that work hard to provide education and resources to those in need. The theme for the 29th annual National Recovery Month is, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community” which will be focusing on how effective and comprehensive care, building community, and finding purpose will help to maintain long-term recovery from substance use and mental health disorders. There’s no better time to celebrate, raise awareness, and show people that things really do get better! Here are a few ideas of how you can participate and show your support for this year’s National Recovery Month:
Show Support on Social Media
Social media has seeped in to almost every aspect of our lives which would make it a very effective platform for raising awareness. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has created a whole slew of media such as logos, banners, flyers, and posters that you can easily share to your profiles. On Facebook, there are tons of frames that you can apply to your profile picture that display your support for the cause. You can share or write testimonies of others’ or your experience with recovery to provide hope and educate those who may not know that treatment is just a phone call away.
Host an Event
A great way to get your community together and “join the voices” is by creating an event. Whether you choose to have a cookout with your neighbors, organize a walk-a-thon or rally, or coordinate the dedication of a local park or statue – no matter how big or small the event, gathering people together in the spirit of recovery will help to erase the stigma around mental health disorders and addiction, raise awareness, and guide those who are struggling to the help they need.
Spread the Word
In your daily interactions, you can help get the word out about addiction, mental health care, and recovery. Wearing apparel that promotes lifestyles of recovery can definitely get people talking and asking you questions. If you’re in conversation and someone begins to speak negatively about those afflicted by addiction or any other mental health disorders, you can educate them about treatment and explain that recovery is possible. Simply asking someone if they know that it’s National Recovery Month can spark up a fantastic discussion!
National Recovery Month is our chance to show the world that everyone deserves recovery and is capable of doing so. Find ways of observing this September that work for you – brainstorm and get creative, the possibilities are endless! If you need any inspiration, check out the official National Recovery Month page on SAMHSA’s website and do some research about what others around the country are doing this year.