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Several events are planned for September as the Department of Human Service and its partners mark National Recovery Month, celebrating individuals recovering from mental health and substance use disorders and honoring the treatment and recovery service providers who help them. This year’s theme is “Join the voices for recovery: Together on pathways to wellness.”
In addition to sponsoring, Recovery Month, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is marking International Overdose Awareness Day this Saturday, Aug. 31, with the release of an Opioid Overdose Toolkit. The toolkit, available at samsha.gov, provides information on overdose prevention, treatment and recovery for first responders, prescribers and patients.
DHS will kick off Recovery Month with an event focusing primarily on the needs of veterans, service members and their families. The event will be Wednesday, Sept. 4, in Rooms 2370/80 at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building, 540 Cedar S., St. Paul. A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by a program from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Kevin McCauley, a former naval flight surgeon who treated pilots with alcohol and drug problems and is co-founder of the Institute for Addiction Study, based in Salt Lake City.
Recovery Month is intended to raise awareness that addiction treatment and mental health services can help those with a substance use or mental health disorder to overcome them and live a healthy and rewarding life. The month also promotes the societal benefits of prevention and the message that behavioral health is essential to overall heath, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.
“Recovery Month provides an opportunity to appreciate how many people recover from addiction and mental health disorders to lead happy, productive lives,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson “A key element of the Minnesota State Substance Abuse Strategy is increasing support for recovery and access to services so that as many people as possible can begin their journey to wellness.”
Other events sponsored by DHS and other organizations during Recovery Month include a spirituality breakfast, Friday, Sept. 6 at Augsburg College; the Recovery Month Twins Game on Sept. 10; and the Walk For Recovery at Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis on Saturday, Sept. 21. More information about events is available at www.minnesotarecovery.org.