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San Mateo County Celebrates National Recovery Month
Community support essential in recovery from substance use and mental health conditions

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Now in its 28th year, San Mateo County Recovery Month celebrates people who have reclaimed their lives through recovery from substance use and mental health conditions and honors the greater community that makes recovery possible.

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities,” highlights the value of family and community support and invites people in recovery and their family members to share personal stories of recovery to inspire others.

Events throughout September will bring together more than 35 community organizations, local businesses, San Mateo County Health System’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), and over 600 people in the recovery community.

“Recovery happens every day for people here in San Mateo County,” said Stephen Kaplan, San Mateo County Health System Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. “Personal stories shared throughout Recovery Month demonstrate that prevention works, treatment is effective, and recovery is possible. In celebrating those who are in recovery, together we provide hope and support for others to seek recovery as well.”

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 43.4 million adults in the U.S. experienced mental illness in the past year, 18.6 million (43 percent) of which received mental health services. Of the 21.7 million people in the U.S. ages 12 or older who needed substance use treatment, only 2.3 million (10.8 percent) received it. By sharing stories and coming together as a community, we can encourage others to seek help.

During Recovery Month, the San Mateo County Health System will share local stories of people who are in recovery from a substance use and/or mental health condition to start conversations about prevention, treatment and recovery. Stories include Christopher Herrera, a local resident who is in recovery thanks to the medicated assisted treatment services received through Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and is now passionate about bringing awareness to mental illness, especially among minority communities; and Eduardo Tirado, a recovery coach at Voices of Recovery San Mateo County, who faced his own challenges with substance use as a teen and now helps others in their recovery. For the full story, tune in to the Health System’s Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the month.

On Tuesday, September 12, celebrate Recovery Month with people who have a mental health and/or substance use condition and those who in recovery with a day of fun, food, and hope.

Breakfast, Proclamation and Resource Fair – September 12.

7 to 8:20 a.m., Breakfast and Speakers (8 a.m. speakers)

Bridges Program, 680 Warren Street, Redwood City

8:20 a.m., The Philomena Walk of Hope

Quarter-mile walk from Bridges Program, 680 Warren Street to 400 County Center

9 a.m., Board of Supervisors Proclamation

Hall of Justice Board Chambers, 400 County Center, Redwood City

9 to 11:00 a.m., Resource Fair

Courtyard, 400 County Center, Redwood City

Other Recovery Month festivities include a candlelight vigil, art show, dance and movie night. For more information and a full list of events, visit smchealth.org/RecoveryMonth. All events are free and open to the public.

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