Oyen Hoffman, Behavioral Health Provider, MA, LMFT, LAC, MAC Clinical Specialist & Substance Abuse Program Supervisor
If you are reading this, you have had a diagnosable mental health disorder at least once in your life. Ever had stress? Lost a loved one? Have you been angry, had a fight with your family member? Have you ever felt sad, scared or anxious? Ever drink a little too much, or been told to stop doing a bad behavior? Have you ever been worried about something so much it was hard to control the worry? Have you said “Yes” when you really wanted to say “No?” Have you ever been concerned about, or directly affected by, a friend’s or family member’s substance use or mental health? Ever read about a local suicide? The fact is that at any time within a six-month period any one of us can meet the criteria for a mental health or substance use disorder.
September is Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder month and oftentimes, individuals who experience a mental or 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 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. Too many people are still unaware that prevention works, and that mental and substance use disorders can be treated, just like any other health problems.
Having worked with our families, friends and neighbors for the past 18 years as a Behavioral Health Clinician 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.
Mental and substance use disorders affect people of all ethnicities, ages, genders, geographic regions, and socioeconomic levels. They need to know that help is available. These individuals can get better, both physically and emotionally, with the support of a welcoming community.
Mountain Family Health Centers is celebrating Recovery Month because, for Mountain Family Health Centers, every month is recovery month. Let people know that confidential help is available at Mountain Family Health Centers for your behavioral health and substance use needs. And there is free help 24-hours a day through Mind Springs Health Crisis line, 888-207-4004 or SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD) or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255). Offering support to those experiencing mental and substance use disorders can make a huge difference. Together we can help others realize the promise of recovery and give families the right support to help their loved ones.
“Recovery is not a consequence of your past, it’s a promise of a fulfilling future.”
Oyen Hoffman, MA, LMFT, LAC, MAC, is the Substance Abuse Program Supervisor for Mountain Family Health Centers and a Clinical Specialist.