Far too often, people do not get the mental health treatment they need. People may go without treatment for a variety of reasons, including a belief that treatment will not work for them and that recovery is impossible. In such cases, the person's mental health condition typically worsens, and their condition may soon become unmanageable.
Each September, National Recovery Month aims to spread the message that mental health treatment does work and that recovery from mental health conditions is possible. A person's mental health condition does not have to define the person, and the person does not have let their condition impact their life forever.
In the article below, we detail the background of National Recovery Month and discuss the month's importance. We also share how people can safely and responsibly get involved in National Recovery Month 2020 during the current pandemic. Lastly, we discuss available mental health treatment programs, and we share steps one can take to start the recovery journey.
The theme of National Recovery Month 2020
National Recovery Month has occurred each September for more than 30 years. The first iteration of National Recovery Month happened in 1989 as "Treatment Works! Month." Then, the month's focus was to celebrate clinical professionals who help people recover from addiction.
The month then evolved in 1998 to also raise awareness of the impact of substance abuse on addicted individuals. In 1998, organizers renamed the month "National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month” to fit the new focus.
It was not until 2011 when organizers changed the month's name again to the present-day "National Recovery Month." The purpose of this most recent change was to refocus the month on the treatment and recovery of all forms of mental illness, not just substance abuse and addiction.
National Recovery Month is essential because, without proper treatment, individuals who suffer from mental health issues will likely see their mental health worsen. When a person's mental health deteriorates, it may become all-consuming. Their relationships and professional life may suffer, and in some cases, the person may begin having suicidal thoughts. By raising awareness of mental health treatment and the possibility of recovery, one can help others improve their well-being and, in some cases, even help save lives.
Participating in National Recovery Month while social distancing
The theme of National Recovery Month 2020 is "Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connection." This theme highlights the fact that recovery occurs with others' help and that the common goal of recovery connects clinicians, patients, and the families of patients. In the spirit of connection, there are several ways that you can take part in National Recovery Month and support those in need.
One way to take part in National Recovery Month is by sharing stories of successful recoveries on social media. You can find dozens of inspiring stories on the Faces & Voices of Recovery organization's "recovery stories" blog. You can then share those stories on social media with your friend and followers. In addition to helping raise awareness of mental health recovery, the story may also help inspire a person in need to start their recovery journey.
Another way to connect and take action during National Recovery Month is by participating in Peer Services' Virtual Step Up for Recovery 2020. Individuals and teams can take part in the challenge by climbing 400 stairs, walking or running 4,000 paces, rolling 400 meters, or cycling 40 miles to support mental health treatment and recovery. The campaign encourages participants to "step up" to support someone they know in the recovery process. The campaign also encourages participants to raise awareness by sharing selfies and videos of their efforts online. Peer Services also offers several ready-to-go social media graphics to share your commitment to supporting people in the recovery process.
You can also participate by learning more about mental health recovery and treatment online. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hosts webinars on mental health recovery each Wednesday during September. By learning more about treatment and recovery, you will be able to better support friends and family members when they face mental health challenges.
How Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute can help
Enrolling in a treatment program is the first step towards achieving lasting recovery. At Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute, we offer treatment options for individuals who struggle with mental health problems and substance use disorders. We offer specialized programs for adults recovering from substance abuse, including treatment programs for chemical dependency. We also offer inpatient programs for psychiatric care and outpatient mental health programs.
To get started with a mental health treatment program, your first step is to call a member of our team at (512) 819-1154. We can then help schedule you or a loved one for a free mental health assessment and help answer any questions you may have.