This should be a time of renewal for anyone who has been touched by addiction or mental illness
By David Gomel, Ph.D.
If you ever spend time with people who are recovering from substance use or mental health disorders, you may notice they often radiate a sense of joy and peace no matter what they have been through. It is an alluring love of living life well.
There is good news: This joy is available for every person, family and community. September is an excellent opportunity to experience this way of life, as the recovery community comes together to celebrate the miracle of recovery.
In 1989, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched National Recovery Month to increase awareness surrounding mental health and substance use disorders. At the same time, SAMHSA wanted to celebrate the success stories to illustrate that living in recovery is possible.
Make an Impact During National Recovery Month
Because the miracle of recovery is for everyone, we all have important roles to play to create a supportive culture. Most of us know people living in recovery. Ask how you can celebrate this time with them—they’ll be grateful you did.
If you or a loved one is struggling, please reach out for help. Find a trusted friend, family member, professional or religious leader who can offer perspective and support.”
If you are interested in taking an active role in strengthening the community, there are many organizations working to end the stigma surrounding behavioral health disorders. Volunteering your time and talents with a local group can make a significant difference in many lives.
Finally, if you or a loved one is struggling, please reach out for help. Find a trusted friend, family member, professional or religious leader who can offer perspective and support. Do not delay. Make the call.
And please know that life’s waiting.
David Gomel is president and CEO of Rosecrance Health Network in Rockford, Ill. He has 26 years of experience in behavioral health at both the clinical and the administrative levels.
Top photo: Adi Goldstein