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September Is National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month, during which the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aims to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance-use disorders and help to celebrate the people who recover from and overcome them.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Health and Human Services Department is participating in this year’s National Recovery Month. In the months leading up to September, a program called the SRPMIC Faces of Recovery Project, funded by an Indian Health Service Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) grant, allowed for seven Community members to share their stories of recovery with the hope of showing others that recovery and healing is possible and to celebrate their recovery with the Community.

In late April, seven Community members began pairing up to make masks from scratch. According to SRPMIC Behavioral Health Services Manager Carol Colmenero, “[The mask is] symbolic in the sense that it’s supposed to represent that darkness and breaking free of that darkness. Individuals will be telling their story about their recovery or their journey from addiction to healing.”

The seven participating Community members were also given an opportunity to share their stories through short documentaries produced through SRPMIC-TV. These documentaries were shot at various locations in the Community. The participants were brave enough to share their stories in hopes of saving a life and providing hope for a better tomorrow.

According to SAMHSA, the four major dimensions that support a life in recovery are:

Health: Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms—for example, abstaining from use of alcohol, illicit drugs and non-prescribed medications if one has an addiction problem—and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.

Home: Having a stable and safe place to live.

Purpose: Conducting meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school volunteerism, family caretaking or creative endeavors, and earning the independence, income and resources to participate in society.

Community: Having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.

The documentaries will be screened on Friday, September 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the SRPMIC Tribal Council Chambers. Come view the documentaries, show your support for healing and celebrate recovery as a Community.

For more information on National Recovery Month, visit http://recoverymonth.gov. For more information about the Faces of Recovery Project, contact SRPMIC the Behavioral Health Program at (480) 362-5707.