September is being observed as Recovery Month, an international initiative that is locally spearheaded through the Department of Counselling Services. In Cayman and in many other parts of the world, Recovery Month is celebrated to focus attention on substance abuse prevention and treatment.
The key objectives are to raise awareness of drug and alcohol misuse and to celebrate those among us who have taken the bold step to get on the path to recovery. It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to counsellors and other support programs which provide guidance and encouragement to those seeking recovery and a healthy lifestyle.
For persons battling substance abuse, the road is never easy. In addition to dealing with numerous health challenges, substance abuser and their families are frequently stigmatized within their communities.
This month therefore, let us take the time to learn more about this issue. Even more importantly, let us support family and friends in our districts who may be struggling with substance abuse and the associated challenges. Let us also look out for persons facing difficult circumstances that might lead to addictive behaviour.
Never forget that an act of kindness from you can make a world of difference to someone trying to become a more productive citizen. Yes, there are mechanisms in place to help those who are in need of treatment and preventative care, but to achieve success, we all need to do our part.
In addition to assistance available through a number of non-governmental organisations, the Department of Counselling Services has a corps of trained counsellors who are willing and able to guide individuals and families towards improving their lifestyles.
However, they cannot do it all. It’s up to us to offer a word of encouragement or extend a helping hand. In so doing we will become an active part of the healing process.
May God bless these Cayman Islands.
Mike Adam – Minister of Community Affairs and Housing