Lincoln – Just as we work to identify and treat heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, it’s every bit as important to do the same for mental illnesses. Behavioral Health is essential to overall health and well-being.
National Recovery Month increases awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and encourages individuals in need of treatment and recovery services to seek help. Recovery Month also celebrates people living in recovery and recognizes the dedicated workers who provide the prevention, treatment, and recovery support services that make it possible.
“Your mental health and personal wellness needs your time and energy,” said Sheri Dawson, director of the Division of Behavioral Health. “Lightening your load and asking for help is the bravest and best move to make. You are not alone. Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover. We need to make more people feel as though recovery is possible. This observance month allows us to highlight inspiring stories that help thousands of people from all walks of life find the path to hope, help and wellness.”
Also, Dawson noted, support from families is essential to recovery, so it’s important that family members have the tools to start conversations about prevention, treatment, and recovery. Too many people are still unaware that prevention works and that mental and substance use disorders can be treated, just like other health problems. Local communities can also play a significant role in supporting those in recovery by simply talking and learning more about recovery. Nebraskans can focus on the hope of recovery through inclusion and connectedness so individuals fully imagine the healthier life ahead.
In a series of Facebook Live sessions this month, the Division of Behavioral Health is highlighting consumers discussing their own recovery journeys. The first two in the series, by Dr. Jeffrey Faber and Dr. Ken Zoucha, are archived on the DHHS Facebook page, facebook.com/nedhhs. The next in the series will focus on Lincoln singer-songwriter McKenzie Steiner (known professionally as McKenzie JaLynn), who wrote and is recording an album, Oblivion 20/20, inspired by her mental health recovery journey through serious depression and anxiety. This will be broadcast live on Tuesday, September 15 at 2:45 pm, and will subsequently be archived on the DHHS Facebook page.
Need help for yourself or a loved one? Reach out to your health provider, to faith-based communities, your community center, or a mental health provider near you. There are also a number of resources available to help you. They include:
- The Nebraska Family Helpline, 1-888-866-8660, can help callers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Interpreters are available.
- The Rural Response Hotline, 1-800-464-0258, offers connections to mental health counseling, information regarding legal assistance, financial clinics, mediation and emergency assistance. Interpreters are available.
- If you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed with emotions, anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or someone else, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255 (English) or 1-888-628-9454.
- The new Peer Support Warm Line, which has just been introduced by The Connection Project and its executive director Tommy Newcombe. It offers a 24/7 toll-free number, 877-823-8992, that connects callers with peer support specialists who are in recovery and helps facilitate access to other services.