Prevention and Recovery: Collaborations Foster Support and Hope
Every year, SAMHSA facilitates national days of awareness and recognition - like National Recovery Month and National Prevention Week - in a collective effort with states and communities to address mental health and substance abuse prevention and recovery. 2014 activities have been met with enthusiasm, innovation, and the use of technology to deepen the impact.
Have a sneak peek at some of the National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day videos!
National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
May 8th marks this year’s annual observance of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, with over 1,100 communities and 140 national organizations participating. SAMHSA is planning a launch event on May 6th to highlight the unique needs of young adults, ages 16-25, who have mental health challenges around issues of housing, education, employment, and healthcare access. SAMHSA will launch a hashtag challenge beginning April 1, 2014 to encourage a national dialogue about the value of peer support for young adults with behavioral health challenges. Those interested can join the national event by registering or viewing the live webcast.
National Prevention Week Plans
National Prevention Week 2014 will be held May 18-24 with the prevention theme “Our Lives. Our Health. Our Future.” Aiming to inform and engage individuals and communities around substance abuse prevention and treatment and mental health issues, SAMHSA launched a promotional video and also the “I Choose” Project, where images of the reason for choosing prevention are displayed. “I Choose” images are also being posted on SAMHSA’s flickr page. Plans are well under way, with many communities spotlighting their plans. Promotional materials are available to help spread the word and individuals wanting to share their Prevention Pledge can do so by adding a brick to the pledge wall on Facebook.
National Prevention Day
SAMHSA’s 10th National Prevention Day took place on February 3, 2014. In addition to the launch of National Prevention Week’s 2014 promotional video, participants found a host of courses focused on strengthening behavioral health and public health for the next decade. Prescription drug misuse and abuse prevention was highlighted, as was underage drinking prevention.
Road to Recovery Television Series
In March 2014, SAMHSA premiered the Road to Recovery Television series as a learning platform to explore recovery and treatment issues. After their air dates, programs are available online for replay. Some of this year’s shows include:
Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out! (Click to View!)
This episode will highlight the many accomplishments of the 2013 Recovery Month campaign and look forward to a successful September 2014 Recovery Month.
Understanding Diverse Cultures in Delivering Recovery Services (Click to View!)
This show will underscore the need to understand the culture of specific communities as critical to success in providing recovery services. Overcoming language barriers and appreciating the health-related beliefs and practices held by various diverse communities is becoming increasingly important with the rapidly changing demographics in our nation. A “community” is defined here broadly, encompassing racial and ethnic groups as well as other clearly defined groups such as faith communities and military families. To illustrate the need for cultural and linguistic competency when working with racial and ethnic groups, the show will focus on Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans. Principles and best practices for effectively reaching targeted communities will be identified to include understanding the language, values, and norms of the community; enlisting the help of respected members of the community; and facilitating peer support among community members.
Treatment and Recovery in the Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice Systems (Airs: 05/01/2014)
Persons involved in both the juvenile and adult justice systems commonly are struggling with mental disorders, substance use disorders, or both. This show will recognize and promote a trend to directly address mental and substance use disorders in these individuals through treatment and recovery support. Strategies for doing this, such as drug courts and diversion programs, will be highlighted. The show will identify issues associated with different demographic groups at greater risk of justice system involvement, many of whom have mental or substance use disorders. Issues associated with specific age groups, including juveniles (12-17 years of age), young adults (18-24 years of age) and older individuals (50-65 years of age) will be examined. In addition, the movement in this country to reform justice system policies at both the federal and state levels will be discussed, notably sentencing laws as related to drug offenses. These policy changes have significant implications for the behavioral health care system.
Disasters and Behavioral Health - Helping Survivors Recover from Trauma (Airs: 06/02/2014)
Our society increasingly is recognizing that victims of a disaster need support to recover from the trauma associated with the disaster event. Disasters include natural disasters such as severe storms, floods, and wild land fires as well as manmade events such as mass shootings or other acts of violence. Trauma from disasters can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems, and can put victims at higher risk of substance abuse. Providing support to disaster victims needs to occur both immediately after the event and over a longer time frame as recovery takes place. Governmental agencies, community-based organizations and others involved in disaster response need to plan and prepare if they are to effectively address the behavioral health needs of disaster victims.
Using New Technologies to Expand Treatment and Recovery Services (Airs: 07/01/2014)
This show will identify and promote the use of new technologies that facilitate and expand treatment and recovery services. These new technologies include social media (social network and messaging systems-Facebook and Twitter), interactive text messaging platforms, and smart phone applications. These technologies are enabling new models of behavioral health care both within and outside of formal or traditional systems of care. The benefits of using these technologies will be highlighted, such as their ability to build virtual recovery communities, facilitate peer support, and enable a person in recovery to participate anonymously. Specific technology programs and systems proving to be effective in facilitating treatment and recovery will be described. Applications of these technologies in the realms of prevention and assessment will also be presented.
Growing Up With Addiction and/or Mental Health Disorders-Prevention by Targeting Troubled Families (Airs: 08/01/2014)
It is well known that children in homes where addiction is present are at great risk of having substance use disorders and lifelong mental health problems. Targeting these families is not only a priority treatment and recovery concern but an effective prevention strategy as well. To prevent mental and substance use disorders, it is critical to work directly with the family environments in which these disorders originate. This show will delve into the relationship of addiction and trauma, acknowledging the long-term impacts on children and families. Children of parents with alcohol or drug addictions (including parents with these disorders who are incarcerated) commonly become involved with child welfare and foster care systems, creating additional long-term challenges. Strategies for identifying and working with troubled families to break the cycle of addiction will be presented.
Supporting Recovery with Safe, Sober, and Peer-Oriented Housing (Airs: 09/01/2014)
Recovery housing environments are increasingly being recognized as a critical component to recovery success for many individuals. This show will examine the growing support for recovery housing in many states and communities, highlighting the many forms that these housing programs can take. Among the housing programs available are sober housing and recovery housing tailored to specific demographic groups such as adult men, adult women, young adults, and college students. The activities and programs offered in these housing settings will be discussed: one-on-one counseling, group sessions, peer recovery support, management of medications, mediation, spiritual engagement, and others. For a variety of reasons, the need for recovery housing is likely to rise in coming years. At the same time, challenges and barriers remain to providing recovery housing. Strategies for overcoming these challenges and barriers to meet the need for recovery housing will be explored.
- National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
- National Prevention Week
- National Recovery Month
- Road to Recovery Television Series