For the last 25 years, communities and individuals across the country have joined together in September to observe National Recovery Month and celebrate the journey and achievements of the millions of Americans who are in recovery from a substance use or mental health condition.
Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for substance use and mental health disorders; celebrates people in recovery; recognizes the contributions of treatment and service providers; and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible.
At a White House press release to kick off Recovery Month activities, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the latest estimates and a summary infographic displaying the prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders in the United States. In the past year, nearly 1 in 12 American adults had a substance use disorder and 1 in 5 had a mental illness – with 10 million adults experiencing a severe mental illness and 7.7 million experiencing a co-occurring substance use and mental health condition.
Through community events, media outreach, and more, Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. SAMHSA has made several resources available on its website to support Recovery Month activities:
Community Events: Holding an event can be a fun and important way to make a difference in your community. Learn more and find an event near you.
Recovery Month 2014 Toolkit: SAMHSA created the Recovery Month toolkit to increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides individuals and organizations with the resources they need to help people with mental and/or substance use disorders. The toolkit contains 4 sections: targeted outreach, media outreach, resources, and “join the voices for recovery.”
Visit SAMHSA’s Recovery Month website to learn more, connect on social media, send a Recovery Month e-card, share your story of recovery, and more.
Rebecca Farley Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health
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