Every September, SAMHSA sponsors Recovery Month to bring awareness to substance abuse and mental health disorders, as well as celebrate people in recovery. This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We are Stronger. We think this is a great theme because substance abuse and mental health disorders affect everyone. This means that we should all care about the issue and be part of the solution.
Here are some of the ways that you can get involved with Recovery Month this September.
Share Events Happening in Your Community
If you know of events happening in your community, share them to social media. People aren’t always sure where to go for help, and your post can change their lives. You can also visit recoverymonth.gov to search for events taking place in your area. Donate your time to making them a success, or promote them on your social channels.
Post Facts and Statistics about Co-occurring Disorders
Did you know that up to 50% of people with eating disorders abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, a rate that’s five times higher than the general population? Or that 35% of individuals who were abused or dependent on drugs and alcohol have eating disorders, which is 11 times greater than the general population?
So many people are affected by this epidemic and don’t realize it. Share facts and statistics to your social media channels to inform people of how substance abuse, mental illness, eating disorders, autism and others are intertwined.
Donate to the Poor and Homeless in Your Community
Find ways to give back to your community. Mental health disorders and substance abuse are widespread in the homeless population, so you can start by helping these individuals. Here are some ideas:
- Start a micro pantry in your community
- Donate your time to a homeless shelter or battered women’s shelter
- Serve meals at a soup kitchen
- Become a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Donate old belongings to local shelters
- Fundraise for a particular charity or organization
Offer to Speak at an Event
If you have a personal recovery story to share, offer to speak at an event. You can tell people about your time in dual diagnosis treatment in Agoura and inspire change. Or, if you feel more comfortable, share your journey in a more intimate setting, such as a local shelter. People going through addiction often relate better to those who have been through similar experiences.
It’s clear that addiction and mental illness affect all of us in some way. The more we realize this, the more we can start talking about the signs and symptoms of addiction and the trauma treatment centers available to help. To learn more about National Recovery Month, visit recoverymonth.gov.