Recovery - Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorders

September is Recovery Month

Behavioral health is an essential part of an individual’s overall wellness.

Anyone can be affected by a mental health and/or substance use disorder. By 2020, mental health and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Governor Walker has proclaimed September to be Recovery Month in Wisconsin to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use issues and celebrate individuals who recover.

"Individuals with mental health and substance abuse conditions can recover and live full and successful lives," Governor Walker wrote in his proclamation. "The stigma that too often prevents individuals from seeking treatment and care can be significantly reduced by learning more about mental illness and substance abuse."

Recovery is an ongoing process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Stay positive. Many people try and fail and try again.

Recovery Month is an annual national observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Recovery Month activities

Events across Wisconsin are scheduled to bring people together to share real life experiences of the power of recovery from a mental health and/or substance use disorder.  Use this directory to find an event in your area.

Voices for Recovery Video Series

To honor individuals who have overcome, or are in the process of overcoming, mental illnesses and substance use disorders, and to inspire those who are starting the recovery process, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has produced a series of videos featuring state residents who have taken the journey toward recovery. Watch episodes of the "Voices of the Recovery" video series. A new episode will be posted every Wednesday during the month of September.

Rockin' Recovery Rally: Saturday, September 19, 2015

Join the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Voices for Recovery for the annual Rockin' Recovery Rally September 19 in Madison. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the State Street entrance of the State Capitol. Invited speakers include former Green Bay Packers player Chester Marcol and State Representative LaTonya Johnson. Stop by and share your recovery story and talk with others with lived experienced and their families, friends, and supporters.

Support is available

Individuals experience long-term recovery from mental illnesses and substance use disorders in their own unique way. There are many pathways to improved wellness and a self-directed life.

Free, confidential help is available 24 hours a day through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).  Use this search tool to locate a local treatment provider.  In life-threatening situations, dial 911.

By seeking help, individuals who experience mental health and substance use disorders can embark on a new path toward improve overall wellness.  Individuals who embrace recovery achieve improved mental and physical health, as well as form stronger relationships with their neighbors, family members, and peers.

Resources for Individuals

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on the following webpages. The information on these webpages is for educational purposes only.

Resources for Providers

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on the following webpages. The information on these webpages is for educational purposes only.

Peer support

For many, support from peers is essential to recovery. Many service providers employ Certified Peer Specialists who utilize their lived experience in the mental health and substance abuse services system to help others move forward on their recovery journey.  Support from peers is available in many venues in Wisconsin.

For more information

The Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services oversees the efforts of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to promote recovery and support individuals with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders.  These efforts include the following programs:

More information on CCS, CRS, and CSP also is available in the Journey to Recovery publication produced by the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in partnership with the Wisconsin Recovery Implementation Task Force.

Last Revised: September 1, 2015