• Martha Davis Vignes

September, National Recovery Month: Taking A Different Path

The State of Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) recently proclaimed September as National Recovery Month, according to the department’s latest press release on August 31. 2018. [1] This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities,” supports the national drive by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) to raise awareness, educate, treat, and effectively remove the dogged stigma associated with behavioral disorders and substance abuse. [2]

The core message promotes the reality that recovery is possible: Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective, People Recover. But community effort and intentional support by family, co-workers, friends, and professionals is required to watch for the signs, to reach out in empathy, and ask appropriate questions to those who may be showing symptoms of behavioral distress.

Our nation, our state, and our communities are in a crisis, and it is time to join the fight to support recovery for some 200,000 Alabamians, whom - according to some estimates, may be suffering. To augment the problem, there is nationwide shortage of behavioral health providers. In fact, 66/67 counties in Alabama don’t have enough providers for those who may be in crisis. [3]

The ADMH offers Mental First Aid Courses to train lay people to learn the signs in youth and adults who may be struggling. For more information on how you can attend a session or become trained as an instructor visit: http://www.mh.alabama.gov/MentalHealthFirstAid.aspx.

Additionally, a 24/7 HELPLINE is available for those in crisis for misuse of prescribed medication or addition: 844.307.1760 or visit http://www.mysmartdose.com/ for more information.

The staff at Southeast Alabama AHEC invite all Alabamians to join the Voices for Recovery and help others take a different path.

[1] State of Alabama Department of Mental Health, 2018. Retrieved from

http://www.mh.alabama.gov/Downloads/COPI/PressReleases/Recovery-Month-2018.pdf

[2] National Recovery Month. 2018. Retrieved from https://www.recoverymonth.gov/

[3] Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas. 2017. Retrieved from

http://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/ruralhealth/assets/Mental%20HPSA%20Map%20-%20October%202017.pdf


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