Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Department of Behavioral Health

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Mayor Bowser Proclaims September Recovery Month

Friday, September 23, 2016
Purple Wave Festival on Saturday September 24 Celebrates Recovery From Mental and Substance Use Disorders

Media Contact:  Phyllis Jones
(202) 673.1937 desk  (202) 631-3077 mobile

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser proclaimed September as Recovery Month in the District of Columbia to celebrate District residents recovering from mental and/or substance use disorders.   Every September, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover. The District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health is holding a local event called the “Purple Wave Festival” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 24, 2016, on the Yard at Howard University

The Purple Wave Festival is a fun event with music, food and entertainment.  Community based providers will distribute information about wellness including mental and physical health.  Sponsored with the DC Recovery Advisory Council, the Festival also will feature personal recovery success stories and highlight the value of family and community support for people living with mental health 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 including emergency crisis services. 

“We want District residents to know that help is available, treatment works, and people recover.” said Tanya A. Royster, MD, Director of the Department of Behavioral Health.  “The Purple Wave Festival encourages a public conversation to dispel stereotypes that too often discourage people from seeking needed help.”

To enroll in treatment or for more information, call the 24 hour Access Helpline at 1-888-793-4357.  

Quick Facts

  •  Among adults aged 18 or older, 43.6 million or 18.1 percent had a mental illness in the past year. Of this number, 9.8 million or 4.1 percent  had a serious mental illness.
  • 2.7 million  adults made suicide plans and 1.4 million made nonfatal suicide attempts in 2015. More than 41,000 Americans died in 2013 as a result of suicide—more than 1 person every 12.8 minutes.
  • Among people aged 12 or older, 21.5 million people or 8.1 percent were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year.
  • An estimated 8.7 million or 22.8 percent of underage persons (aged 12 to 20) were current drinkers in 2014. Of this number, 5.3 million, or 13.8 percent were binge drinkers and 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent were heavy drinkers.
  • More than 7.9 million adults reported having both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.
  • Last year, nearly 30,000 eligible residents were enrolled in the District’s public behavioral health system.

For more information about Recovery Month, go to

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 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.