Published in the Iola Register on Aug. 30, 2013.

Letter to the Editor 8-30-13

Dear Editor,
Mental health and substance abuse disorders can affect anyone. They do not discriminate by age, race, gender or economic status. In 2011, over 45 million adults in the United States reported having a mental illness, and 20.6 million people 12 or older were diagnosed with a substance abuse or dependence disorder.  However, there is hope! Over two-thirds of Americans believe that people with a mental health or substance abuse disorder can recover.  Research shows that up to 90 percent of people who enter treatment have a reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life.
 September marks the 24th anniversary of National Recovery Month. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together on Pathways to Wellness,” emphasizes that recovery is not a journey a person takes alone.  Community groups, twelve-step programs, treatment programs, and family or friends can all help a person achieve and maintain recovery. The more involved family, friends, and communities are, the more likely a person is to succeed in recovery.
 As a Community Mental Health Center, Pawnee Mental Health offers treatment for mental health and substance disorders in ten counties. We offer individual counseling appointments and a wide variety of groups to assist people in recovery. Recently, Pawnee started a Level II intensive outpatient treatment program designed to offer at least nine hours of treatment per week. We believe recovery is possible, and we are here to help.
 In the spirit of Recovery Month, let's recognize and celebrate the successes of individuals in recovery. Let's honor the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible. Let's applaud the family members, friends, employers, and colleagues who promote recovery and provide support. Finally, let's challenge ourselves to learn more about the recovery process and the difference that prevention, treatment, and recovery services can make.
         Adam McCaffrey, LMSW, LAC, MA
         Director of Prevention, Treatment and
         Recovery Services,  Pawnee Mental
         Health, Manhattan