September 21, 2020 By Julie Rael, LCSW, CCO Valley Behavioral Health September is Recovery Month. The recovery community around the world celebrates individuals in their recovery process. The recovery community includes those who have sought help for their substance use and mental health difficulties, their family and friends who have supported them, and behavioral health treatment providers. Collectively our community works together to raise awareness of behavioral health needs and provide education and support to those that may be seeking answers and need help. During Recovery Month and every day, we advocate for our community to be aware of as individuals, or a loved one that may be dealing with a crisis. This includes facing legal troubles, dealing with a job loss, have a history of hospitalizations or incarcerations, or have been estranged from the family. The longer these difficulties go unaddressed the more difficult they can be to bounce back from them. If you find yourself in one of the above situations, you may be feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to get started to get your life back on track. At Valley, we have worked with countless individuals to get back on track after they have dealt with the problems described above. We also help with prevention and early intervention to provide treatment in the least restrictive setting. The sooner you start treatment the faster your provider can help you find solutions that can bring relief. The Valley Behavioral team not only provides exceptional care, but we also celebrate those in recovery. Whether you started treatment yesterday or have been in treatment for over a year, we congratulate your efforts and commitment to the recovery process. This process is not always easy, and individuals often report encountering multiple obstacles and challenges. You don’t need to deal with these challenges alone. We are always here to support and guide you through this process. We also want to be a resource to those who have chosen to stand by you and be part of your support network. A support network is essential for recovery and we can help you build a sober support network if it is limited and you are feeling alone. If you have a loved one that is struggling with mental health and substance use difficulties, it is important to know that these issues are medical conditions and not the result of moral deficiencies. You can help them by supporting and encouraging them to participate in treatment and other recovery support programs. It is important to avoid making comments that can be experienced as judgmental and critical. Many that are experiencing these concerns feel bad about themselves and are experiencing shame. If you have never struggled with behavioral health concerns, it is best to listen and avoid giving advice. You may feel that you know what they need to do and want to give advice at the moment, but it isn’t and can cause your loved one to distance from you. This can further perpetuate the difficulties they experience in their relationships with others. For those who have been Recovery for an extended period, you know that this process involves a lot of hard work. Many who have done this hard work have expressed experiencing a host of emotions and difficulties and felt like giving up. You also know that receiving the right support from others can make the process easier. You know what worked for you and what didn’t. You know which treatment providers helped you and those that didn’t. You know what makes a good therapist and which medications worked best for you. The knowledge and wisdom gained during your recovery journey are invaluable and your story is powerful. When you are ready, it is important to share your story with others who may be struggling with this process. If you are seeking a volunteer or paid opportunity to help others in their recovery process, many organizations offer these opportunities. At Valley, we employ certified peer support specialists. Certified peer specialists have in recovery for an extended period and have received training to support and coach others in their recovery process. Our clients often report that peer support services are very helpful and made the difference they needed in treatment. As you are reading this article, you may have questions about getting started in treatment, or you may want to know what you can do to help your loved one that may not want to start treatment at this time. Please don’t hesitate to contact us right away and ask to speak with someone who can answer your questions. We hope by raising awareness around these issues, more individuals will reach out with their questions, seek treatment sooner, and obtain the support needed to continue in their recovery process. For more information about Valley and how we can help, call us or fill out the contact form below.