September marks Recovery Month for Pawnee Mental Health.

Robbin Cole, Executive Director of Pawnee, says September has now been proclaimed as Recovery Month by the Riley County Commission and the same proclamation will be made by the city of Manhattan in early September. She says the month is a time to recognize recovery, from not only substance abuse, but so much more.

“It’s predicated on the idea that whether it is a substance use disorder or a mental illness that recovery is possible for people,” says Cole.

She adds that throughout the process there is a three part message they they try to deliver.

“Prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.”

Cole says that it’s important to hold onto those three messages and to claim those things to be true and begin to work them out, saying it all begins with early intervention, finding preventative activities, and encouraging treatment- which she says can make a difference in the life of the patient.

“Just because somebody may be in the middle of a serious substance abuse disorder or a mental illness doesn’t mean that, that’s how it’s going to always be and it doesn’t mean that they can’t recover or that there isn’t hope for them, because there is,” Cole adds.

She says that no matter if it’s a physical health issue, mental health issue, or behavioral health issue, people should not let it define them, and outsiders looking in shouldn’t use it as a way to define that person. Cole says mental health and substance abuse is something that impacts everyone and no certain “type” of person is excluded from their impact.

“Mental illness and substance abuse really does kind of turn a blind eye to any of those kinds of personal characteristics that we might have,” Cole says.

She adds that substance abuse and mental illness aren’t just private concerns either.

“When individuals or families suffer because of mental illness or substance use disorders, the community suffers as well.”

To learn more about September as Recovery Month or anything Pawnee Mental Health has to offer, visit

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