Healthy Living: National Recovery Month

Updated 12 months ago

People Reclaiming their lives from Mental and Addictive DisordersBy- Dr. David PrescottSeptember is National Recovery Month: National recovery month celebrates people who are recovering from mental and addictive disorders. The concept of recovery, as opposed to diagnosis, focuses on the importance of prevention and treatment of mental health and addictive disorders. Recovery month encourages people with these disorders to begin a journey back to a more productive and meaningful life. Four Key Points About Mental and Addictive Disorders: Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. They impact about 1 in 5 people over the age of 18. As our nation promotes recovery from addiction and mental health disorders, four key principles guide our efforts: 1. Behavioral Health is Essential to Overall Health: Almost every model of improving health in the United States includes the notion that behavioral health is part of overall health. Separating the mind from the body makes little practical or theoretical sense. Many emerging models of healthcare (often termed integrated care) provide physical and behavioral healthcare in the same location.2. Prevention works: Most mental illnesses are first evident during adolescence or early adulthood. Prevention and early intervention helps recovery to occur sooner and more fully. Problems such as addiction or schizophrenia can be minimized or avoided if recognized and addressed in their earliest stages. 3. Treatment is Effective: With treatment, 70-90% of people with mental illness experience a decrease in their symptoms and an improved quality of life. Yet, the majority of people with certain mental and addictive disorders never receive treatment or seek treatment only after struggling for months or years. Treatment can involve counseling, structured support, or medications. 4. People Can and Do Recover: From movie stars and professional athletes, to the person down the street, stories of people recovering from mental and addictive disorders are plentiful. Mental illness is not a hopeless lifelong state of being. Recovery is a journey, rather than an event, but the journey has occurred for thousands of people. Why Focus on Recovery? Recovery makes sense for both moral and practical reasons. Four of the ten leading causes of disability (lost years of productive life) in the United States and other developed countries are mental disorders including major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Helping people to recover from mental illness allows people to regain years of their life that might otherwise be lost. More than two-thirds of people with mental illness in the United States live in the community and lead productive lives. Their stories help guide others whose recovery is just beginning. National Recovery Month Events in Maine4th Annual Walk for Recovery: September 21st Portland (Monument Square 9:00 a.m.) Recovery Rally: Sept. 21 Augusta (Waterfront Park 11:00 a.m.) Recovery and Wellness Resource Fair: Sept. 25 Portland (Preble Street Resource Center 2:00 p.m.) For More Information: www.recoverymonth.gov


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