The following is from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement.
September is National Recovery Month. Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. The MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) supports Recovery Month events through the substance abuse community coalitions in Charlestown and Revere because these events spread the message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.
Charlestown: Families touched by substance abuse will gather together in strength in Hayes Square on Saturday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. for the fifth annual Charlestown Candlelight Vigil. The purpose of the Vigil is to remember those who lost their battle with drugs and alcohol and to give hope to those still struggling with addiction. The vigil also supports individuals and families involved with addiction or recovery so they understand they are part of a larger community, and that they are not alone in their struggle. The program includes musical selections, remarks by Shannon Lundin of the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition, a performance of Amazing Grace by the J-Walkers and a reflection of the lives affected by addiction. For more information and to include a picture of your loved one in the vigil, please contact Shannon Lundin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revere: The Revere CARES Coalition, the City of Revere and the Revere Beach Partnership will hold the 7th Annual Revere Beach Memorial at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at the William G. Reinstein Bandstand on Revere Beach (rain or shine). This candlelight vigil will remember those whose lives have been cut short due to alcohol and other drugs. It is an opportunity for family members and friends to gain strength and support from others who have experienced a similar loss, and it is a reminder to those struggling with addiction that treatment can save lives.
The Memorial is preceded by the Community Walk for Recovery, an event led by Revere High School students and teachers and the Revere CARES Coalition. The walk connects prevention efforts among youth and shows support for community members who have lost a loved one to substance abuse and addiction. The Community Walk begins at the Beachmont School at 5 p.m. with a rally for students to kick off the youth Above the Influence 2013-2014 campaign, and culminates at the Revere Beach Memorial,
The Revere Beach Memorial is an annual event made possible through the local support. If you are interested in making a donation to the Revere Beach Memorial fund, please send checks (made payable to the ‘Revere Beach Memorial Fund’) to the Revere Beach Memorial, c/o Revere CARES Coalition, 300 Ocean Avenue, Revere, MA 02151. Money raised will help to continue the memorial and will support local addiction treatment programs and youth education. Funds raised in the past have been donated to the North Suffolk Mental Health Meridian House, East Boston Rehab and a Revere High School scholarship fund for youth impacted by addiction.
Individuals who would like to remember a loved one at the Memorial are invited to call (781) 485-6404 to register their loved ones’ names. Registration will also be open between 6 p.m.-7 p.m. on the night of the event. Family members and friends are also invited to bring photographs of the loved ones they have lost to add to a ‘memorial wall’ that will be up during the event.
There also will be a Recovery Day at the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, September 26. Events begin at 9 a.m. at Boston City Hall Plaza with the Teen Challenge Recovery Choir, followed by a march to Gardner Auditorium at the State House. Recovery Month celebration, policymaker education visits, lunch and the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services Public Policy Forum will follow.