A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition Director Trish Burchette, Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor, Mountain City Mayor Jerry Jordan, and A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition Recovery Program Coordinator and Families Free Recovery Services representative Maggie Hart pose after the signing of the proclamation declaring September as National Recovery Month. Submitted photo.
By Meg Dickens
September is National Recovery Month. Local statistics show that approximately 18,000 people struggle with mental health conditions or substance use disorders in the area. A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition met with County Mayor Mike Taylor and City Mayor Jerry Jordan on Friday, September 3, to promote that people with mental health and substance use disorders “can and do recover every day.” Both Taylor and Jordan signed proclamations declaring September as National Recovery Month in the area.
“September is nationally recognized as Recovery Month, and we wanted to emphasize the importance of our recovery community and the understanding that recovery from Substance Use Disorder is possible,” Director Trish Burchette explained the reasoning for approaching local government. “We are very grateful to our community leaders for their support of our efforts to eliminate Substance Use Disorder in Johnson County.”
Statistics show a possible link between substance misuse and suicide. Whether by coincidence or design, September is also National Suicide Awareness Month. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 41,000 deaths per year in the United States are from suicide, and slightly less than a fourth of suicides happen under the influence of alcohol.
The stigma around mental health and substance misuse is “the number one reason” why those affected do not ask for help. Gaining knowledge and spreading awareness could be the key to improving recovery. A.C.T.I.O.N. is currently leading that charge.
“The more our community understands Substance Use Disorder, the more we will be able to come together and work toward the vision of uniting our community toward a healthy, drug-free Johnson County,” Burchette explained.
Through this education, individuals can learn to spot possible symptoms and encourage recovery. For its part, A.C.T.I.O.N. has been running an ad campaign with this information for the last few weeks. The organization will also be airing a weekly segment on the local radio channel (WMCT) and hosting a Celebrating Recovery Walk on September 24.
“A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition and our sister organization FAMILIES FREE stand ready to assist anyone seeking treatment and recovery for substance use disorder,” said Burchette. “Help is available in ways it has never been before with expanded access to treatment options and recovery assistance. If you need help with substance use disorder, please call us, visit our website, visit www.familiesfree.com, or check out our new blog site at www.theaarrc.com.”
A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition is currently partnering with Families Free Recovery Services and using federal grant funding from SAMHSA to help those in the community with recovery. To find out more about this organization, visit actioncoalition.org or Facebook.
Click here to see the signed proclamations.