Crook County's Recovery — It's in Our Hands.
That's the theme of the Crook County Recovery Month event that will celebrate recovery from addictions and mental illness this Thursday, Sept. 13.
National Recovery Month has been observed throughout the country and celebrated every September since 1989.
"Recovery Month spreads the message that prevention works, that treatment is effective, and people recover," explained Crook County Mental Health Director Laura Placek.
She said recovery includes mental health issues and addiction in all forms.
"We think about opioids, or we think about drugs or alcohol, but addiction is really gambling, it's eating disorders, it's gaming, it's anything that's excessive and altering and negatively impacting someone's life or a family's life," Placek said.
This is the first time that the Crook County health community has participated in National Recovery Month, and Crook County, Rimrock Trails, and Lutheran Community Services Northwest have partnered to offer the event.
Plans for Thursday include a Crook County Recovery Proclamation, Hands Across Prineville demonstration, recovery activities at Pioneer Park, and a candlelight vigil.
Crook County Judge Seth Crawford will read the proclamation at 3 p.m. Thursday on the Crook County Courthouse stairs.
"It is basically a public recognition and announcement that Crook County citizens and organizations support recovery and support family members and friends and community members who are pursuing recovery and/or are struggling with mental health or addictive behavior," Placek explained.
After the proclamation reading, all those in attendance will join hands for the Hands Across Prineville demonstration and spread out in front of the courthouse on the Third Street sidewalk, stretching out in front of the Police Department and Pioneer Park.
"Hopefully, we can make a really big impact statement with folks that turn out," Placek said.
Activities will then move to Pioneer Park at 3:30, where multiple local servicing agencies and organizations will have booths that will provide information about resources and local support. Participants include Crook County Health Department, the Department of Human Services, Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Rimrock Trails, the Band of Brothers, Problem Gambling, Rebel's Roost, Imagine Freedom, and several others.
Dry Canyon Trio will provide live music, and there will be food vendors.
"It's slating itself out to be a fairly large turnout and a fairly large event just in the number of agencies that are participating alone," Placek said. "It's going to be a great opportunity for fellowship and a supportive resource environment so that folks can feel a part of the community, especially if they've struggled and felt that they were the only ones going through a particular problem or situation, and to show our support that we are here in multiple different categories of individuals, families, and actual agencies to say, 'We have services to support you.'"
From 5:30 to 7: 30 p.m., Rimrock Trails will host a candlelight vigil in their booth at Pioneer Park.
"This is an opportunity to honor, support, and remember those who have struggled with mental illness or substance use disorders," Placek said.
She pointed out that the Crook County partners are the only official designated organizations doing something formal in Central Oregon to celebrate National Recovery Month, putting Crook County in an overt light of awareness.
"The whole idea is that we're here. These are people in our community. These are parts of our families. We're going to take care of this right here locally," Placek said. "We're going to be here and lend a hand up and help anyone who wants help, and we're also going to encourage and be supportive and recognize that recovery is possible and it's absolutely real."
Crook County Recovery Month Event
Date: 3-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13
Location: Crook County Courthouse steps and Pioneer Park
In 2015, there were more than 25 opioid overdoses in Crook County.
Crook County is ranked eighth among Oregon counties for deaths related to opioid use.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016, there was an estimated 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older that had a mental illness or an addiction.
Nationally, in 2016, more than 42,000 people died of some type of drug addiction or overdose.