Everyone has a story to share.
That opening statement from Annie Fridh, administrator of the Rosecrance Ware Center, set the tone for Recovery Fest, held May 18 at the facility.
“That’s the best part about today for me, is that we get to hear your stories,” Fridh told the crowd. “When we talk about the issues that we’re struggling with and start sharing about our recovery path, then not only does that empower ourselves but it empowers other people to talk about those things.”
Dozens of clients and staff members gathered for food and awards as part of the event, which happens every year at the Ware Center. Recovery Fest celebrates the stories of clients who strive to achieve successful recovery despite challenging circumstances. May is Mental Health Month and this event is one way that Rosecrance is bringing awareness to mental health and substance use disorders.
Teams of employees nominated clients for special recognition. Programs represented at the event were Therapeutic Intervention Programs (TIP), Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), housing, outpatient, Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), substance abuse, and Community Support Team (CST).
Clients were introduced by staff members who work closely with them. Case manager Dana Harder kicked off the presentations, speaking of a male TIP client who recently graduated from the program. “When he gave his speech at the graduation at the courthouse, this individual stated that recovery would be a life-long change for him.”
Several clients have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders but happily talked about their newfound sobriety. One woman, a dual-diagnosis client in Maureen Shukis’ IOP group, spoke about her hope for the future: “When I came into Maureen’s group, I learned how to identify and manage my emotions. Now, I can do all the things that I wanted to do. It wasn’t ‘too late’ for me. I still have so much time to have the life I want to have. There’s good things out there for me.”
Twelve clients in all were recognized for their achievements. Bonnie Gilmore, Recovery Technician at Rosecrance Ware Center, emceed the event and told attendees, “We have so much more treatment and knowledge about the brain now. We know recovery is possible. It’s real.”