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September Marks National Recovery Month, Free Programs Planned

The Rally for Recovery Walk/Run is Sept. 8 at Frick Park, plus the local nonprofit Familylinks is celebrating the initiative by offering two free workshops this month.

Editor's Note: September is National Recovery Month—one that "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." It is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A young girl struggles to find someone to depend on after facing a life of abuse at the hands of her own uncle and her mother’s boyfriend. Desperate to dull the pain, she turns to alcohol and drugs that bring on yet another brick wall—homelessness. After two decades of struggling with addiction, she eventually turns it all around, gets clean and gains a life of strength, health and independence.

When recently faced with yet another challenge after losing her job, Denise Zellous of the West End immediately sought help and support from a Familylinks program, rather than turning back to the darker times she once knew.

With what little she has for herself, she now reaches out to homeless women by collecting donated boxes of hygiene goods, kitchen items and bedding to help get them back on their feet through HOPE—Helping Other People Excel—a program she founded.

Because of her volunteer work, she also recently became a recipient of the Jefferson Award. Zellous is just one example of why Familylinks celebrates Recovery Month in September and what it means to be on this journey.

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices of Recovery–It’s Worth It,” emphasizes that while the road may be difficult and challenging, the benefits of preventing and overcoming mental- and substance-use disorders are significant and valuable to individuals, their families and their communities.

People rebuilding their lives in recovery achieve healthy lifestyles both physically and mentally through determination, treatment and support systems. Familylinks is offering two free seminars in September at its training center located at 250 Shady Ave. focusing on the subject of recovery.

The following free trainings will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Familylinks, 250 Shady Ave., Pittsburgh, in the Training Room. 

The seminar schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Spirituality: The Heart of Recovery

Facilitator:  John Amato, director, training institute, Familylinks

The concept of spirituality as it relates to recovery is sometimes misunderstood and often under emphasized. This seminar will provide a basic understanding of what spirituality is and what role it has in successful recovery. The four movements from addiction to spirituality will be discussed, as well.

Tuesday, Sept, 25 – Domestic Violence

Facilitator:  Tricia Underwood – trainer, training institute, Familylinks

Often when people are in active addiction, they fall into patterns of “bad relationships”—same story, different people. These relationships may be filled with emotional, physical and sexual violence. Recognizing warning signs and creating safety plans are two key elements to keeping yourself safe.

Interested? Be aware that registration is required. To do so, email Deborah L. Murphy, training coordinator, dmurphy@familylinks.org or call her at 412- 924-0115. Childcare services will not be provided.

Familylinks is also joining other alcohol and drug service providers for the seventh annual Rally for Recovery Walk/Run sponsored by Message Carriers from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 8 at Frick Park.

This event will be include speakers, food, fun and fellowship and will recognize Recovery Month and encourage education.

Participants will meet at the corner of Forbes and Braddock Avenues. The registration table opens at 9 a.m.

For more information, call 412-361-0142.

Familylinks is a nonprofit human services organization dedicated to providing integrated, family-centered services focused on behavioral, social and developmental issues. For information regarding its services, please call 412-661-1800 or log onto www.familylinks.org.

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