The Oregon Health Authority invites Oregonians to join a celebration of recovery from addiction and mental illness by posting their stories on social media with the hashtag #MyRecoveryStory.
Helping OHA launch this campaign are five young Portland residents who shared reflections on their recovery journeys on video. In the videos, they look back and share what they wish they could tell their younger selves. From today to Friday, OHA is sharing their videos on its social media channels.
“I wish I would’ve known that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing,” said Tony Vezina, executive director and co-founder of 4th Dimension Recovery Center (4D), a community for young people 35 and under in recovery.
The staff of 4D consists of other young individuals with lived experience who can draw from their personal lessons as they walk alongside others in recovery.
“I wish I would’ve known healthier ways to process pain and anger,” said Lor Eftychiou, recovery support service coordinator at 4D.
By providing a space for individuals with lived experience to share their stories, OHA hopes to spread hope and encouragement for other young people who are experiencing behavioral health challenges.
Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors Recovery Month, to increase awareness and understanding of mental health, problem gambling and substance use disorders and celebrate recovery. The 2019 theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger.”
“As someone who experiences mental health challenges, I know the peace and contentment that recovery can bring. I also know that recovery is not a linear process, and that it’s important to reach out to my support system when I’m struggling,” said Brandy Hemsley, OHA’s director of consumer activities.
“As Recovery Month winds down, we need to keep the conversation going and encourage one another to reach out for the support we need. I am certain the voices in these videos will inspire hope for many young Oregonians and remind us that these kinds of struggles are a natural part of the human experience. You are not alone, and there’s no need to be ashamed.”
On Friday, Oct. 4, OHA and 4th Dimension Recovery Center will host a Facebook Live event to wrap up the week.
How to participate
Create an image or text social media post.
Be sure to include the hashtag #MyRecoveryStory
Want others to see and share your post? Make sure it’s public.
Tune in on OHA’s Facebook page for a live panel on recovery at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 4.
Follow OHA on social media!
Behavioral health services
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health or substance use challenges, help is available.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
YouthLine: 1-877-968-8491 or text teen2teen to 839863 or chat at www.oregonyouthline.org.