MASON CITY, Iowa - The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors signed a proclamation recognizing September as National Recovery Month.
The month is held to educate Americans about the usefulness of substance abuse treatment and mental health services and how they can enable those who suffer from them to live healthy and rewarding lives.
For organizations like YSS Francis Lauer and Prairie Ridge, which work respectively with youth and adults on prevention, intervention, and treatment from addiction as well as behavioral health care, it's one step in the long journey to recovery.
Sarah Zollar is a resident therapist at YSS Francis Lauer. She says working with those who are going through the treatment and recovery process is a rewarding experience.
"We get to work with kids and work on changing their lives and helping them take a different trajectory than what they've ever had before."
Zollar says the official proclamation will bring about much needed awareness.
"I just think it's such a great way to bring attention to an issue that kids and families fight every day. It gives everybody a chance to say 'hey, what are we doing, what are we doing as a county, what are we doing as a state, to help kids and to help families do better?'"
Kelly Grunhovd with Prairie Ridge says their partnership with YSS Francis Lauer and having a dedicated month to those working towards recovery is vital, especially because many of us likely know someone with an addiction or mental health disorder, no matter their age.
"We're able to encompass the lifespan, and so as young as a person might start having a behavioral health disorder all the way up to whatever age you can imagine."
Zollar says that while they've done tremendous work, there is always room for improvement.
"One of the things that we've really been trying to focus on is improving our family work and involving families in their treatment, because when kids come home, they need to continue to do well even after they get home."
According to the John Hopkins School of Medicine, about 1 in 4 American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.