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Joining Voices for 2020 National Recovery Month

Targeting Trauma on PTSD Awareness Month Through September, the US observes National Recovery Month. This means that organizations, individuals, and initiatives across the country seek to raise awareness of mental health and substance use disorders and to educate our communities on the benefits and availability of treatment services for mental health and addiction recovery. While the focus of National Recovery Month is often associated with recovery from substance abuse and mental health diagnoses — such as anxiety, eating disorders, and depression — the month of September is also a time to celebrate those recovering from other health conditions. Individuals making progress in their recovery or management of diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as other heart diseases, can frequently be seen celebrating the improvements of their journeys during this month. 

The theme for this year’s National Recovery Month is ‘Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.’ And in times like these, — when most of us have never felt a more significant impact on how we connect with others — having the ability to celebrate our connections and uniting our voices, can be more powerful than ever.  From celebrities and other influential individuals to our relatives and friends, the road to recovery is full of highs and lows for any person. However, during this month, we remember that we can count on the inspiration and the support coming from those we cherish and are close to but also coming from people we may admire only through social media. 

The message is: sharing a story about recovery with our peers may always help someone. Oftentimes, we can make a difference even if we can help only one additional person who is struggling to approach the overall concept of recovery. Another key factor this month is the fact that evidence-based treatment services promote a healthy recovery, on an individual level and also for groups of people who decide to share their stories.  Perhaps that’s because the initiative has always been backed by those providing evidence-based services and educational resources; The US National Recovery Month used to be an effort sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). But a couple of months ago the organization declared that it would no longer be hosting National Recovery Month celebrations. 

SAMHSA will also not be involved in the creation of future themes nor the management of the calendar for future events. Instead, after three decades, SAMHSA passed said responsibilities to a stakeholder and active member of the recovery community, which launched a new website for all National Recovery Month events.  

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