The residential staff of DBHDD’s DeKalb Community Service Board (pictured above) hosted Cookout in the Park in honor of recovery month.
September was National Recovery Month and this year’s theme was Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities. As in previous years, DBHDD sponsored recovery events through a mini-grant program administered by the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse.
From Rome, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, to Brunswick on the coast, communities across Georgia celebrated recovery.
Food and music were ubiquitous, but each event was unique. Bells were rung and balloons released. There were “TED-like” talks, a speaker jam for youth in recovery, an art exhibit, a chili cook-off, and a beach walk/clean-up. Navigate Recovery Gwinnett held a 5K Run for Recovery, and Pineland DBHDD hosted Coffee with Cops.
And at every event, people in recovery shared their stories.
“In Georgia alone, thousands of people spoke up about their recovery – to share what helped us come back from the depths and to reduce stigma.” – Neil Campbell, executive director, Georgia Council on Substance Abuse
“Hearing other people’s stories gives me hope,” says Brenda Dennis, who spoke to a gathering at Cookout in the Park in Decatur. “It lets me know that I’m not alone. And that which we cannot do alone we can do together.”
DBHDD and the DeKalb Community Service Board’s Residential Peer Advisory Committee and residential staff hosted an annual cookout on Friday, September 22
On Saturday, September 23, Highland Rivers Health organized a recovery walk and celebration in Rome. “The recovery walk was a very public acknowledgement of the power of hope and recovery,” says Melanie Dallas, LPC; CEO of Highland Rivers Health.
“Recovery is very personal,” says Dallas. “The individuals who spoke today, and every individual living in recovery, has a unique and personal story of the challenges they faced, the hardships they endured and how their disease impacted their lives and, by extension, the people they love and who love them. But each individual also has unique strengths, goals and inspirations, and very personal reasons for doing the work they needed to do to begin and maintain a life in recovery.
“At the same time, we should always remember that anyone can be a voice for recovery. If you know an individual in recovery, you may support their recovery in ways that you don’t realize; even a small gesture can have a huge impact.”