This September is National Recovery Month’s 31st year. During National Recovery Month, people share the central message that individuals who suffer from mental health conditions can achieve lasting recovery. One can achieve mental health recovery by receiving evidence-based treatment. A person’s mental health challenges do not have to control a person’s life, and one does not have to live with a mental health condition forever.
Below, we detail the origins of National Recovery Month. We then share ways to participate in National Recovery Month, including ways that the whole family can get involved. We also discuss available mental health treatments, and we share how an individual can get started on a treatment program.
Origins of National Recovery Month
As mentioned, National Recovery Month has occurred for over 30 years. However, National Recovery Month has changed significantly since its inception.
In 1989, the first iteration of National Recovery Month took place as “Treatment Works! Month.” During its first years, the purpose of the month was to celebrate healthcare workers who helped treat patients with addictions. In 1998, organizers changed the month’s name to “National Alcohol Addiction and Drug Recovery Month.” With the 1998 name change, organizers expanded the month’s purpose to include raising awareness about the patient recovery experience, too.
National Recovery Month took its current name in 2011. Since the last name change, National Recovery Month’s purpose is to educate Americans on treatment and recovery for all mental health and substance abuse issues.
Spreading hope through stories of recovery
During the current pandemic, individuals who suffer from mental health problems have had to deal with sudden changes to their routines and increased isolation. Social distancing measures have placed added challenges on people with mental health conditions, and many individuals now need mental health treatment more than ever.
If you have a recovery story of your own, you can offer support during National Recovery Month by sharing your story with others. You can share your story with family and friends, and in doing so, you can provide evidence that treatment works. Additionally, you can help break down the stigma associated with mental health treatment by showing people that loved ones can also suffer from mental health conditions. To reach more people, you can also share your story publicly. To do so, submit your recovery story to the Faces & Voices of Recovery organization’s “recovery stories” blog.
Individuals who do not have a recovery story of their own can still participate by sharing other people’s stories. The Faces & Voices of Recovery organization features dozens of inspiring stories of people from all walks of life. When you share a recovery story online, be sure to use the hashtags #OurStoriesHavePower and #RecoveryVoicesCount.
Getting your family involved with National Recovery Month
This year, many organizations have canceled National Recovery Month events to adhere to social distancing guidelines. However, it is still possible to participate in National Recovery Month with others in a safe and responsible way. You can participate with family members and have fun supporting National Recovery Month through virtual events.
One fun way to get involved is by taking part in Thriving United’s Recovery Month Scavenger Hunt. To participate, form a team, and start completing the month’s scavenger hunt tasks. Tasks include making a video or sharing a social media graphic that raises awareness of mental health treatment and recovery. Participants with the most points will win a grand prize in October.
Families can also participate in the virtual Step Up Recovery 2020 event by Peer Services. Peer Services typically hosts a stair-climbing event at their offices. However, this year, the entire campaign is virtual. To participate, one needs to “step up” for a person who struggles with mental health, and each person does so symbolically by climbing stairs or engaging in another physical activity. Participants can then share selfies of their activity online and help raise awareness of National Recovery Month and its key messages.
Available treatment at San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
For people who face mental health challenges, the best way to get in control of their conditions is to enroll in a mental health treatment program. During a treatment program, one can benefit from the care of clinical professionals who have experience helping people improve their mental well-being.
At San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, we offer multiple treatment programs that clinicians can customize to fit each patient’s unique needs. To help people who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse, we provide a specialized treatment program for substance use disorders and chemical dependency. We also offer inpatient psychiatric treatment for adults and outpatient treatment programs. Our outpatient offerings include partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs.
Taking the first step towards recovery is just a phone call away. To get started, call our 24/7 hotline at (210) 541-5330. A member of our hospital team can help answer any questions you may have about our programs. Also, a team member can schedule you for a free mental health assessment. The assessment will help our mental health professionals advise you on the best treatment program for you or your loved one.