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Department of Behavioral Health Celebrates National Recovery Month

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Recovery: Reaching, Teaching and Healing our Communities

Washington, DC Neighborhood residents, community based providers of prevention, treatment and recovery services, and advocates joined the Department of Behavioral Health today at a National Recovery Month event  to call attention to critical services available to District residents with mental and/or substance use disorders. 

The event also was intended to support people in recovery and featured testimonials from individuals on the DC Recovery Advisory Council and a panel discussion about personal stories.  

Panelists emphasized the importance of peer support for individuals in recovery. The Department of Behavioral Health sponsors annual training for peer specialists who work with community based providers.

Carlos Hardy, Founder and CEO of the Maryland Recovery Organization Connecting Communities, was a guest speaker.   Participants joined in Go-Go Fitness routines and heard performances by  the Community Action Group Deliverance Choir, made up of people in recovery,  and the DC Youth Poetry Slam Team which uses poetry to teach and empower teens to speak up about issues of social justice.

“We want to encourage people to discuss openly mental and substance use disorders and the reality of recovery. ” said Stephen T. Baron, Director, Department of Behavioral Health.  “It  is critical that people receive the support they need from the community.  Prevention works, treatment is effective and people recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders.”

The Department of Behavioral Health provides a range of mental health  and substance use  disorder prevention, treatment and recovery services for including emergency mobile crisis services.  Please call 1-888-793-4357 or go to for more information.  In FY 13, nearly 30,000 individuals received  services in the public behavioral health system.

National Recovery Month is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The observance, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, raises awareness of mental and substance use disorders, celebrates individuals in long-term recovery, and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services.