National Recovery Month raises addiction awareness, mental issues in Columbus

National Recovery Month raises addiction awareness, mental issues in Columbus
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)
(Source: Sharifa Jackson/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Along with Sickle Cell Awareness Month, National Child Obesity Awareness and Suicide Awareness month, September also is a month for raising awareness for those recovering from addiction and mental issues.

Thirty days dedicated to teaching Americans there is help for those going through addiction or dealing with mental health issues.

According to a national survey conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1.5 million adults have serious mental illness and misuse opioids yearly.

The abuse and the unspoken issue of mental health growing nationwide.

"People just look at people who use any kind of substance as bad people, people who do bad things. But it's a story behind it. It's always a story," said Lamona Griffin, a therapist at American Work in Columbus.

Griffin says she sees first-hand the need for awareness and education in the Chattahoochee Valley.

These debilitating issues often times re-tracking the course of many people's lives, and destroying families.

"I think there is a huge stigma surrounding substance abuse. And with mental health. There's such a stigma for people receiving help for mental health, depression, anxiety," said Griffin.

Now the practice goes to re-writing the stigma.

Teaching the many people struggling that they are not alone with battles of addictions and mental health.

National recovery month essentially promoting the belief that behavioral health is essential to physical health prevention and the secret to living a fulfilled life.

"When you have a medical issue, it affects your mental health, when you have an emotional issue, it affects your mental health. When your mental health is whole, you can become a whole person," said Griffin.

A special event was held at Lakebottom Park in Columbus to celebrate National Recovery Day.

Support groups from the Bradley Center and Hope Harbour were on hand providing information about mental illness and drug abuse.

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