Helpful language to use - and avoid - to support those in recovery.
Did you know September is National Recovery Month? Recovery is something that should be celebrated each and every day. However, this is a special time to raise awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders, and their effect on individuals and communities.
In the United States today, there are 23 million people in recovery! Mental health and substance use isn’t something that affects only the person with the disorder, but many others around them. The road to recovery isn’t one to navigate alone.
Think of this as a journey. The person experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder is the driver of a vehicle and those surrounding that person are the passengers. Road trips are always better with friends and family! When you’re on a journey, everyone wants to go somewhere different, have input, or ask, ‘Are we there yet?’ Remember: recovery is a journey that takes time.
It can also be a healing opportunity. When we follow the map (or GPS!) everyone can eventually find their way. Caring ‘passengers’ in someone’s circle (i.e. friends or family) can become well-informed and strong advocates for the driver. Use this month to educate yourselves on mental health and substance use disorders and celebrate recovery along the way!