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FamilyLinks Recognizes National Recovery Month


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. Denise is just one example of why we celebrate 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 Avenue focused on the subject of recovery.
 
When Denise lost her job, the threat of being homeless again caused her to fall into a deep depression. She attended weekly meetings and went to church as often as she could while volunteering and looking for work. Denise received help from Familylinks over the course of a year, allowing her to stay clean from alcohol and other drugs and able to support her children, who previously had been taken away as she struggled with substance use. While she currently continues her search for a new job, that support kept her on track and prevented her from going back to a life she is determined to leave behind.
 
Recovery Month is an initiative sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The observance celebrates and honors individuals in recovery, their families and friends who have offered support along the way, and those who work in prevention, recovery and support services.   

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

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