BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — September is Recovery Month in North Dakota, and the Department of Health and Human Services would like to take the opportunity to remind people that help is available all throughout the state.

“There are many different pathways to recovery,” said Addiction and Prevention Program and Policy Manager James Knopik. “It’s important that our state and communities offer support for each person’s individual path to wellness.”

The division works with many community-based groups to help provide aid to those seeking recovery from behavioral health conditions like mental health issues, substance use disorders, and brain injuries. A few active examples of these services include the Substance Use Disorder Voucher Program, the North Dakota Brain Injury Network, Community Connect, and Recovery Talk.

One other major resource the department would like to remind individuals of is the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline — a new phone number that connects those experiencing behavioral health crises to trained counselors. All calls are answered 24 hours a day. North Dakotans can call either 988 or 211 for help at all times, as they connect to the same call center.

According to social worker and member of the Tribal Opioid Response Network Brooklyn Maxon, support — whether from regional services or even friends and family — is a key aspect of recovery.

“People experiencing mental health and substance use issues need support,” Maxon stated. “It’s vital that their support system is educated and supported, as this doesn’t affect just that one person. It affects everyone that is involved in their lives.”

Above all else, Emma Quinn, chair of the North Dakota Behavioral Health Planning Council, states that it’s important to remember that no matter how bad the situation may seem, healing and recovery are always possible.

“Often in the behavioral health system,” she stated, “it feels like we only focus on symptoms, but it’s important that we remember that there is life after a mental illness. Recovery takes work just like anything else, but with the right tools and coping skills, people can and do live successfully in recovery.”

To learn more about available recovery programs across North Dakota, call 701-328-8920 or visit the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (a link is provided below).

The 2022 Recovery Month proclamation by the governor can be viewed online here. More information about behavioral health crisis services is available on the Department of Health and Human Service’s website.