Reflections on Recovery – A Recovery Month Luncheon Preview
Every September, the nation comes together to recognize the impact of recovery during National Recovery Month. As a thought leader in behavioral health care, this observance is an opportunity for us to further amplify the importance of connecting people to care that leads to life-long recovery.
This year, to help do that, we are hosting a virtual Recovery Month Luncheon on Tuesday, September 29, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Our free event offers more than just experiential learning, recovery-inspired entertainment and an open discussion – it’s a chance to deepen your experience with recovery.
Attendees will be invited to reflect on mental illness and addiction, learn from experts – including a keynote address from VADM Jerome M. Adams, U.S. Surgeon General – and hear powerful stories from individuals living in recovery. For a preview of the storytelling, here’s a look at what our five recovery message carriers will touch on throughout the event:
- Kateri Coyhis: “When I was 16, I was going further down a path of using alcohol and drugs. I felt hopeless, and I knew if I kept going down this path, it would not lead anywhere good. Recovery gave me hope again and brought me back to the person the Creator intended me to be. Recovery means everything to me, because it gave me the blessings of my family and a job that I love. I now have the honor of giving back to the recovery community by serving for the very organization that saved my life! Today, recovery means living a sober life that is balanced emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.”
- Thomas Gorham: “Recovery has given me a fresh start after 10 years of homelessness and 47 trips to the county jail. At 43, I was living under overpasses, battling alcoholism and losing hope. Drinking was my job and getting arrested was just part of it. My epiphany came when I joined a program for alcoholics. I was impressed with the volunteers’ decency, and I remember thinking, ‘They care more about me than I care about myself!’”
- Juan Vélez Court: “When I was diagnosed, I felt like I was irrelevant … that I could die the day after, or 10 years down the road, and I contributed nothing to society. I look at my story now, and I did become someone despite those people in my life who challenged me to sit down and do nothing. My story is about recognizing that you can achieve a lot of things despite a mental health diagnosis. It’s about acknowledging, first, that you can achieve anything.”
- Julvette Price: “I am a person in long-term recovery. That means I’m someone with a mental health diagnosis and a substance use diagnosis. Recovery gave me the ability to change the quality of my life and that of my family’s. That has always been my purpose – to change my life and help other people do the same. Recovery has changed my story from one that was gloomy and bleak, to one where I can now help others as a peer support specialist.”
- Shauntelle Rose: “If I could talk to every person on the road to recovery, I would tell them, ‘You deserve this. You belong here.’ And to those who are supporting loved ones in recovery, I would say: ‘Treat them with love, patience and compassion. You don’t have to teach someone a tough lesson for them to get help. Caring for someone you love isn’t enabling. Your loved one is sick and battling a life-threating disease. It’s OK to support them and help them achieve recovery.’”