September is National Recovery Month which is a national observance that has been recognized since 1989. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) works year-round to spread the message that mental health is an essential part of our overall health and well-being, prevention works, treatment is available, and people do recover from mental health and substance use challenges. This year marks 34 years of celebrating this awareness month.
Recovery looks different for everyone but it is always possible. Each individual has experienced a different life and can require different support or combinations of support during their journey of recovery. A few common and effective supports include evidence-based treatment, medications, medication-assisted treatment, faith-based approaches, recovery support services, and family support. There are ups and downs, and every individual’s recovery journey is unique and deserves to be celebrated.
“It is vital to support our fellow Nebraskans on their journeys to recovery by lowering barriers to recovery support, creating welcoming spaces and programs, and broadening our understanding of what recovery means for individuals with different experiences”, said Tony Green, the Interim Director of Behavioral Health at DHHS. “I would like to take a moment to thank our first responders, healthcare workers, peer recovery support professionals, counselors, addiction specialists, providers, community organizations and non-profits, family members, and everyone else who works tirelessly to support our fellow Nebraskans at every step in their recovery journey.”
The Nebraska behavioral health system offers a full continuum of care for persons with mental illness and substance use disorders. Services are available throughout Nebraska and include crisis response, inpatient, residential, and outpatient care. The goal is to help the person recover and build resiliency. Most programs accept insurance and Medicaid, and those without insurance may be eligible for DBH funding. Nebraska services are trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically competent, and can treat people with complex needs.
Nebraska prevention efforts focus on maintaining safe and drug-free communities. DBH works through regions and community coalitions to plan and carry out activities that result in positive change. DBH and its partners at the state and local levels are focusing efforts to reduce underage drinking, binge drinking, prescription drug abuse, marijuana use, suicide attempts, and illegal sales of tobacco products to minors.
- If you are interested in taking the first step towards recovery, please visit https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Addiction-Treatment-and-Recovery.aspx to find treatment options near you.
- Mental Health First Aid is a course that aims to teach members of the public how to respond to a mental health emergency and offer support to someone who appears to be in emotional distress. The course is taught throughout Nebraska. Information about the next available course can be obtained by visiting https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/.
- Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose within two to three minutes. To find an up-to-date list of free Naloxone providers visit https://stopodne.com/.
- Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship dedicated to abstinence-based recovery from misuse of alcohol through a 12-step program.
- Narcotics Anonymous is a fellowship dedicated to those with substance use challenges and problems with substance misuse through 12-step programs.
- Alcoholics Anonymous has a free-of-charge app called “Meeting Guide” which helps individuals find A.A. meetings and resources near them. There are both in-person and online meetings. The app shows a list of meeting times, locations, and the meeting name. The Meeting Guide app is available for iOS and Android smartphones.
Help promote and support treatment and recovery options to help strengthen our communities across Nebraska. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has more information and a social media toolkit at https://www.samhsa.gov/recovery-month.
Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis? Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:
- The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; call, text, or chat 988
- Your faith-based leader, your healthcare professional, or your student health center on campus.
- Nebraska Family Helpline – Any question, any time. (888) 866-8660
- Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)