Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By MN Department of Human Services
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Recovery Month highlights need for community services

People with mental illness, substance use disorder can recover with right help


September 13, 2018

September is National Recovery Month and Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed September 2018 Recovery Month in Minnesota, highlighting the fact that people can and do recover from substance use disorders and mental illness.

People were admitted to chemical dependency treatment programs in Minnesota more than 57,000 times in 2017. Most people who enter chemical dependency treatment usually complete it and show considerable improvement, and abstinence from substance use and other benefits of treatment tend to continue over the long term. Yet each year more than 9 out of 10 adults with a substance use disorder do not receive treatment.

To address this gap, the state has launched a multi-year reform effort that aims to cut the time between asking for treatment and getting it, as well as adding a variety of key improvements to the system. In addition, to help combat our state’s ongoing opioid epidemic, DHS has won federal grants to fund a range of prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, including peer recovery programs, the Parent Child Assistance Program, and community health worker training to support high risk pregnant and newly-parenting women.

“It is important that people experiencing substance use disorders and mental illness receive the support they need from their friends, families and their community,” Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said. “And at the same time, it is critical that we as a state make smart investments in effective community services.”

Now in its 28th year, the 2018 National Recovery Month theme is, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.” The theme explores how investing in community-based services, along with support from families and communities, can contribute to recovery for persons with mental and substance use disorders.

Nationally, one in five adults has some type of mental illness, but many aren’t getting the care they need. Minnesota has invested in several new services designed to fit each individual’s needs, such as Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics that serve as one-stop shops for mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and First Episode of Psychosis programs, designed to identify early and help people who are developing signs of psychosis.

Meanwhile, more than 100,000 children and youth in Minnesota need treatment for serious emotional disturbances. Minnesota is offering new and innovative services on the county level and investing in children’s mental health services. For example, this year the state’s first children's Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility for children with higher needs opened in Duluth, and the first Intensive Mental Health Treatment in Foster Care program launched, offering mental health services for children in out-of-home placements.

However, services remain unevenly distributed and are lacking in many areas of Minnesota.

“We need a full range of services across the state so that people can get the care when they need it. Too many people are on waiting lists, traveling long distances, or, worst of all, going without care,” Piper said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

Recovery Month includes a variety of ceremonies, activities and celebrations across the state. For information on events in your community, visit

Governor Dayton’s proclamation of September as Recovery Month can be found on the DHS website.


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