To the editor,

Eastern Oregon communities are facing a serious challenge: the prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders.

One in five young adults lives with mild to moderate mental health conditions as well as substance use conditions. Just over 6 percent of youth between ages 12-18 experience substance use disorders, and over 25 percent experience mild to moderate mental health conditions.

However, there is hope in working together to build a more coordinated and cohesive prevention, treatment and recovery-oriented service system. This change must start at the community level.

National Recovery Month, which is September, provides an opportunity to share information, raise awareness and take action toward improving the lives of people and families impacted by mental health and substance use conditions. This year’s theme is: “Together we are stronger.”

Recognizing that substance use and mental health conditions often go hand-in-hand. It is our goal at Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. to promote a system of behavioral health services where all people at risk of or affected by substance use and its associated trauma can reduce their emotional and physical suffering while stepping into a safe and welcoming journey to wellness.

We can all play a part in inspiring health and healing for people living with behavioral health conditions by supporting people who are on the path of recovery – no matter where they are in that journey – and by building awareness of these conditions in our own communities.

If you want to show your support for individuals living in recovery, let your loved ones and colleagues know that you support them in their recovery journey. Recovery month events are happening in communities across Oregon, so please participate, because together we can make a difference!

Kevin Campbell

The Dalles

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