September is National Recovery Month
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is sponsoring the 23rd National Recovery Month (Recovery Month). This long-standing, national observance promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. The goal is to educate Americans that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
Each September, thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and services around the country celebrate their successes and share them with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues in an effort to educate the public about recovery, how it works, for whom, and why. There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. These successes often go unnoticed by the broader population; therefore, Recovery Month provides a vehicle to celebrate these accomplishments.
Currently, 140 Federal, State and local government entities, as well as non-profit organizations and associations affiliated with prevention, treatment, and recovery of mental and substance use disorders comprise the Recovery Month Planning Partners’ group. The Planning Partners assist in the development, dissemination and collaboration of materials, promotion and event sponsorship for the Recovery Month initiative.
To promote ways to use the many behavioral health resources available during Recovery Month and beyond, SAMHSA has created a toolkit, which helps people recognize signs of mental and/or substance use disorders and assists organizers in planning and promoting Recovery Month events.
This year, Recovery Month continues to promote the critical message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover. The theme this year is: “Join the Voices for Recovery: It’s Worth It,” which is meant to emphasize that while the road to recovery may be difficult, the benefits of preventing and overcoming mental and/or substance use disorders are significant and valuable to individuals, families, and communities.
The goal of the toolkit is to educate people that those in recovery achieve healthy lifestyles, both physically and emotionally, and contribute in positive ways to their communities. The toolkit assists in planning Recovery Month events and provides tools and educational materials to distribute in communities and during local events.
The toolkit contains three separate sections and a special section showcasing real-life examples of people in recovery:
- Media Outreach – Provides instructions to plan and promote Recovery Month activities and events, as well as templates to customize and send to local and online media outlets.
- Targeted Outreach – Offers audience-specific information about the benefits of recovery, effectiveness of treatment, and tips to overcome challenges during the recovery process.
- Resources – Provides resources to help plan and prepare for Recovery Month events, as well as tips to cultivate partnerships with other organizations.
- Join the Voices for Recovery – Presents a snapshot of individuals who are on the road to recovery after struggling with mental and/or substance use disorders.
Materials produced for the Recovery Month observance include banners, logos, flyers, and social media tools. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials provide multiple resources including SAMHSA’s National Helpline - 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for information and treatment referral and SAMHSA's Treatment information at http://www.samhsa.gov/.
For more information and opportunities on National Recovery Month:
- Find how you can get involved
- Find an event in your community
- And, many more resources