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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Recovery Month

WHEREAS, mental health and substance use disorders affect every community nationwide, and in Virginia, nearly 1.8 million residents have mental health conditions and 1.2 million are affected by substance use disorders; and

WHEREAS, overdose is a devastating effect that can result from substance use disorders, but recovery can be a remarkable outcome; and

WHEREAS, treatment for these conditions helps individuals achieve happy and healthy lifestyles, both physically and emotionally; and

WHEREAS, with commitment and support, those impacted by mental health or substance use disorders can embark on a journey of resilience, improved health, and overall wellness; and

WHEREAS, Peer Recovery Specialists, also known as Peers, are individuals who have personally overcome mental health and/or substance use challenges and are living in successful wellness and recovery; and

WHEREAS, Virginia currently has over 1,100 certified Peers, and nearly 300 were newly certified last year; and

WHEREAS, Family Support Partners, also known as Peer Recovery Specialists, are parents or caregivers of loved ones experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges that have successfully navigated the behavioral health system; and

WHEREAS, Peer Recovery Specialists and Family Support Partners provide services in the behavioral health system of care that are strength-based, person-centered, trauma-informed, resilient-oriented, and non-clinical in collaboration with another like-minded individual embarking on their journey of recovery; and

WHEREAS, the mission of Virginia’s 2023 Year of the Peer initiative is to celebrate Peers as champions of recovery, unify Peers, and build bridges of understanding with clinical colleagues, community partners, and organizations across the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Recovery Month is observed each September to celebrate all people that make the journey of recovery possible by embracing the tagline, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger” to spread the message that people can and do recover every day; and

WHEREAS, the goal of Recovery Month is to improve the lives of those affected by mental health and substance use disorders by raising awareness and educating communities about the effective services that are available; and

WHEREAS, citizens are encouraged to be aware of and able to recognize the signs of mental health and substance use disorders, and people in need of recovery services are encouraged to seek help;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize September 2023, as RECOVERY MONTH and 2023 as YEAR OF THE PEER in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.