National Recovery Month is an annual event that occurs every September. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, sponsors this initiative as a way of increasing awareness and understanding of substance abuse and mental health disorders.
National Recovery Month is also a way of celebrating those who recover by participating in sober activities. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to host a gathering for National Recovery Month and how to have a successful sober event.
About National Recovery Month
The premise behind National Recovery Month is to educate people across the country about how receiving services for mental and substance abuse disorders helps with successful outcomes. While celebrating throughout the month, millions of Americans receive recognition for successfully recovering from substance abuse and mental disorders.
Through that recognition, we are all reminded that addiction treatment is effective and that it’s possible to recover. This September, National Recovery Month is heading into its 31st year. During its 30th anniversary during 2019, the initiative made the letter “R” part of its logo. The “R” stands for recovery and supports the millions who are living in recovery.
National Recovery Month 2020’s Theme
Every year, National Recovery Month features a theme. Last year’s theme was “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.” The theme for 2020 is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.”
These themes help families, individuals, and organizations plan a successful sober event. You can find a National Recovery Month toolkit presented by SAMHSA to help you plan and organize sober activities throughout the month.
The toolkit features:
- Targeted outreach for community members, first responders, the healthcare community, and young and emerging leaders. There’s also documentation for treatment and recovery services.
- Data visualizations, including visual snapshots of the country’s prevalence of substance abuse disorders and co-occurring disorders.
- Information on events and media outreach, including samples for a pitch email, media advisory, press release, and proclamations. These are available as separate documents or in one PDF.
- Educational materials on common mental disorders and misused substances. In this document, you’ll find a list of commonly misused substances and disorders. Details also include alternate names for each substance or disorder, adverse health effects, signs, and symptoms.
How to Host a National Recovery Month Gathering
When you visit SAMHSA’s website, you’ll find a wide variety of sober event ideas and resources for planning a successful National Recovery Month gathering. Each of the resources and tips is available as separate sections to help you stay organized.
These sections include:
- The questions you must consider before event planning occurs
- How to create a timeline for your event
- How to establish a committee for your event
- Budgeting and sponsorship details
- Information on securing a speaker and setting up registration fees
- How to obtain the necessary permits and ordinances
- What you should do following the event
Promoting Your National Recovery Month Gathering
Hosting a successful National Recovery Month gathering also involves promotion. That means you’ll be sharing your event’s details on social media, which is one of the easiest ways to market a sober event. Take this promotion a step further by writing about it on your blog using National Recovery Month materials.
Additional promotional steps include the following:
- Use social media to share links to recovery journey stories, as well as your recovery journey
- Promote recovery resource links
- Share positive messages about how to prevent, treat, and recover from mental health issues or substance abuse disorders
- Promote other events relating to online recovery support or National Recovery Month
Contact Wellness Counseling Vida Entera for More Resources
Planning for sober activities during National Recovery Month doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. We have the best tools and resources that are necessary to help you every step of the way.