Oftentimes, individuals who experience mental health or a substance use disorder feel isolated and alone. Yet, every year, millions of Americans experience these conditions. It’s important that we offer support to individuals facing mental health and substance use disorders. In fact, we need to create environments and relationships that promote acceptance. Support from families is essential to recovery, so it’s important that family members have the tools to start conversations about prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Having worked directly in the behavioral health field for more than 30 years, I have witnessed the positive reality of recovery. Individuals who embrace recovery achieve improved mental and physical health and form stronger relationships with their neighbors, family members, and peers. We need to make more people feel as though recovery is possible.

September is National Recovery Month designated to promote and support evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.

The past 18 months have been challenging on everyone, especially for those who are in recovery. Consider your own anxiety and the coping tools you turned to manage emotions and your well-being through the pandemic, maybe it was friends and family, therapy, hobbies, or meditation and spirituality. The isolation and stress, worsened by effects of the pandemic such as unemployment, pushed many struggling with addiction to their substance of choice as a means to cope.