September is National Recovery Month. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recovery from mental illness and substance use disorders is defined as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” For many people suffering from mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders, the prospect of trying to recover from can be overwhelming. Aspire Indiana, a comprehensive community mental health center, subscribes to the philosophy that recovery is possible for all the individuals with mental illnesses and substance use disorders that the organization serves .
In 2012, a client came to Aspire with an idea about something that accurately and beautifully symbolizes recovery. It’s called Recovery Glass. The concept is really quite simple. Recovery Glass is made when pieces of glass and broken bottles are discarded in the ocean. Over time, this glass becomes smooth by tumbling against rocks and sand. There are times in the lives of behavioral health consumers when they feel like they have been discarded, when healing and recovery seem like they are out of reach. Recovery Glass is symbolic of a life that once seemed broken and lost, but through the storm, the rough edges became smooth, and the soul was healed.
Aspire Indiana began manufacturing and selling Recovery Glass necklaces earlier this year. Much to Aspire’s surprise, Recovery Glass has been wildly successful. Aspire thinks the success is due to the fact that a Recovery Glass necklace is not just another piece of jewelry. A Recovery Glass necklace symbolizes hope and recovery, things that are often in short supply for those with mental illness and/or substance use disorders.