Those who are recovering from substance-use disorder have the chance to share their stories and inspire hope at an upcoming community-wide event.
“Recovery Out Loud” is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Jack Kilby Square in downtown Great Bend. The second-annual gathering will last about two hours in observance of National Recovery Month.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to share personal experiences, while focusing on the meaningful benefits of being in recovery,” said Amy Ferguson, resource coordinator at the Barton County Health Department. “This is not just for those with substance-use disorder; it could also be recovery from a mental-health issue or some type of trauma.”
The open-to-the-public event is being presented under the umbrella of the Central Kansas Partnership. Rise Up Central Kansas is the host.
“These, and many other organizations are offering this local Recovery Out Loud event to help de-stigmatize mental-health concerns and seeking treatment for them,” Ferguson noted. “The goal is to send a positive message about recovery.
“People do recover,” she continued. “We want to lift people up so they can see the many benefits of treatment and start on their road to recovery. This disorder affects us all in some way; it has its tentacles in all of us.”
The speakers at Recovery Out Loud are clients of local organizations such as The Center for Counseling & Consultation.
“We asked many organizations to be involved; they all have said ‘yes,’” Ferguson commented. “Clients and staff at these agencies are asked to speak to the group and/or participate in the luminary-lighting part of the evening.”
Part of the luminary project is placing a positive message on the sacks holding the candles. Examples from more than 600 luminaires last year include:
• You can be your own rainbow.
• You are important.
• We are never so lost that angels can’t find us.
Julie Kramp, executive director of The Center, noted she and her colleagues “are thrilled to be partners in planning and participating in Recovery Out Loud. Amy and the health department, along with so many other people and agencies, should be commended for organizing this event.
“The turnout of about 200 people last year was great and we hope to top that this year,” Kramp added. “We encourage everyone to attend and hear a message of hope.”
Kramp noted that The Center has its substance-use license and is in the process of hiring therapists, while also partnering with Mirror in the local offices to provide treatment.
Jill Hulse and Scot Yarnell, nurse practitioners at The Center, offer medication-assisted treatment.
The Center for Counseling & Consultation is a Community Mental Health Center serving Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties. Professionally trained personnel offer: individual and group therapy; marriage and family counseling; community-support services; community-based services; psychosocial rehabilitation; peer support; and medication management. The confidential 24/7 crisis hotline number is 800-875-2544.