The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has supported September as Recovery Month. This year, 2013, is the 24th year of Recovery Month’s existence.
If you have read my previous blog entries, you know that I believe in RECOVERY.
The term, RECOVERY, is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the process of combating a disorder (as alcoholism) or a real or perceived problem” & “the act of regaining or returning to a normal or healthy state”. From these two definitions, gaining health after a physical ailment such as surgery or decreasing once’s addiction to liquor comes to mind. The definition can also be used when referring to mental health and mental illness.
RECOVERY, in so many ways, is the regaining or redevelopment of one’s ability to function fully in his or her environment through the use of therapy/counseling, the creation and establishment of positive interpersonal relationships, and the ownership of meaningful and important societal roles.
But how does one begin the process towards RECOVERY?
How and when does this RECOVERY process start?
The answers to these two questions are quite simple. First, a person begins the process towards RECOVERY when they decide to. RECOVERY is person-driven with a foundation in the strengths-based perspective. The strengths-based perspective is a building block of RECOVERY that enforces the belief that people are resilient and resourceful when they experience adversity, rather than the idea that people are deficient or inferior. Secondly, I believe that the RECOVERY process starts when the individual is ready and prepared to live their life optimally.
Below is an excerpt from SAMHSA’s Recovery Month webpage:
“Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Recovery Month spreads the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover”.
Whether you, a family member, or a friend has recently been diagnosed with a mental illness or has lived with one for years, know and believe that RECOVERY is possible.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association: Recovery Month 2013
United Kingdom’s Mental Health Foundation