U.S. Says Mobilize Recovery is America’s Most Epic Mobilizer!
To say that Mobilize Recovery has quickly become one of America’s most engaged and engaging recovery organizations is kinda like saying the equator cuts through a whole lotta territory. Oh, the statement is true alright. But it doesn’t come close to conveying the enormity of that truth. Then again, no single statement could ever adequately convey the many engaged and engaging ways in which Mobilize Recovery manages to mobilize America.
Want proof? Then check out CBS News reporter Kerry Breen’s coverage of Mobilize Recovery’s 5th Annual Recovery Month Conference. That’s what we did. And we came away as mobilized as if we’d been there ourselves!
Breen’s keen coverage also left us believing that 29 million adult Americans finally have an organization that will give them voice enough to be heard above the din – of politics, as well as stigma. In fact, our reading of the proceedings has us believing that Mobilize Recovery will soon be tapping some of those Americans to actually enter the political arena. After all, they’ve already got votes.
“We are a strong voting bloc, and we need action from our elected officials,” said Courtney Gary-Allen, the organizing director of the Maine Recovery Advocacy Project. “More than that, we’re also going to run for office.”
Gary-Allen is referring to Mobilize Recovery’s Run for Recovery, a yearlong training program that will teach people in recovery and their family members how to run for local office. She said the program already has plans to field 15 candidates in 2024. She also said she hopes that in a decade, there will be hundreds of elected officials with lived experience who will be the decision-makers.
Breen’s report clearly laid it all out:
“In addition to connecting people in the recovery field to each other,” she writes, “the Mobilize Recovery conference aims to make people in recovery a visible, viable political group that can push for political and social change.”
And who better to push that dual agenda than former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy? The longtime recovery advocate, who represented Rhode Island’s First District from 1995 to 2011, was always incredibly adept at using his political platform to push for change. That included a six-month stint alongside former Governors Chris Christie, Charlie Baker and Roy Cooper in the now-defunct Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission (which, frankly, was never granted an opportunity to get off the ground). Yet it also included serving as the lead sponsor for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (which, frankly, continues to change the landscape).
For Kennedy, of course, such a position is personal. Not only has he acknowledged suffering from both bi-polar disorder and addiction, but he and his siblings have legal custody of their mother, who herself has long struggled with alcoholism. Kennedy wrote all about it in 2015’s A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction. He roars all about it too, through The Kennedy Forum, a behavioral health nonprofit he founded in 2013.
Wiki says the Kennedy Forum’s mission is “transform mental health and addiction care delivery by uniting mental health advocates, business leaders, and government agencies around a common set of principles, including full implementation of the Federal Parity Law.”
Other DC insiders in attendance included Congressional Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI), Paul Tonko (NY) and Debbie Dingell (MI), as well as Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Dr. Rahul Gupta and second gentleman Doug Emhoff.
Emhoff made remarks on Tuesday, reports Breen, while Becerra spoke to attendees on Monday afternoon.
“Mobilize Recovery is an example of what is possible when people come together with a shared desire to help others,” Becerra told CBS News. “They serve as a model for others.”
Taking a page from that solid playbook, Secretary Becerra also told CBS News that federal officials have launched an Office of Recovery. The office’s “role was established to evaluate and initiate policy, programs and services with a recovery focus and ensure the voices of individuals in recovery are represented,” says SAMHSA’s website. In other words, it aligns right along with what’s being advanced by Mobilize Recovery. Heck, you could even say they’re simpatico.
The Mobilize Recovery Team
Mobilize Recovery wasn’t content to simply field a dream team of experts and insiders; no, they had to actually be part of a dream team.
And not just any kind of dream team either, but one made of the dreamiest stakeholders out there. In fact, Mobilize Recovery not only Partners with and is Sponsored by some of America’s strongest recovery advocates, but it’s flanked by two of the planet’s most plugged-in entities. We speak of iHeartMedia (which reaches 9 out of 10 Americans, and is the world’s #1 audio company) and Meta (which, of course, happens to own Facebook, the world’s third most popular website). Yeah, we know. Meta also is #8 in overall U.S. market cap (and #7 in U.S. Tech), but it’s the heavy traffic that makes the company such an effective mass mobilizer. And that, in turn, makes it a perfect co-conspirator for Mobilize Recovery.
But don’t think for a moment that iHeartMedia isn’t holding its own in this Partnership. Heck, the iHeart Recovery Month website will easily counter that. So will the Variety writer McKinley Franklin’s exclusive conference preview.
Here Comes Macklemore
Whether it was iHeart or Meta which attracted Macklemore however is anybody’s guess. Considering the rapper has been an advocate for as long as he’s been in recovery, his appearance probably precludes both. Whatever the case, Macklemore’s a strong and steady presence, and he adds distinct veritas to the cause.
How do we know? Well, because we’ve written about Macklemore a recordings as well as his recovery. Just as we’ve covered many of Mobilize Recovery’s partners in our Recovery Month lowdown. Okay, so maybe we haven’t come anywhere close to matching Macklemore’s might, let alone encompassing the multitude that has aligned with Mobile Recovery. Yet that only mobilizes us to keep plugging away. And isn’t that largely what recovery is about anyway?
Mobilize Recovery’s Mobilization Process
Sure it is. And if you ask any of Mobilize Recovery’s conference colleagues, they’d say so too. And trust us, between The Voices Project and Recovery Advocacy Project (the minds behind Mobilize Recovery), the Clinton Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Partnership to End Addiction and Faces & Voices of Recovery, you’ll get more than enough correct answers. We’ve barely even mentioned Hazelden Betty Ford, SAMHSA or NAADAC (aka the Association of Addiction Professionals)!
In fact, there are another couple dozen Partners we’ve yet to mention too. There are also a dozen or so Sponsors, including Gilead and Google. Mostly though, there are the untold hundreds who made Mobilize Recovery’s fifth annual confab such a galvanizing affair. Because by the time those experts and advocates are through galvanizing their own legions, there will be a place at the table for every American who needs it.
Mobilize Recovery Day of Service
Just because you missed Mobilize Recovery’s conference, doesn’t mean you can’t get in on their Recovery Month action. In fact, you still have time to get in on the newest addition to their long list of initiatives. We’re talking about the inaugural Mobilize Recovery Day of Service, which takes place on September 30, 2023. Macklemore’s also in on this event. So are Danny Trejo, Melissa Etheridge, Keegan Murray and Royce Da 5’9”. (They’re all Honorary Co-Chairs.) More importantly perhaps, there’s something like 400 different events going down all across the country.
Whether you decide to join an existing event or stage something of your own, the Day of Service is a great way to wrap up National Recovery Month. It’s an equally great way to celebrate International Recovery Day.
Healing Properties thanks Kerry Breen and CBS News for providing such a stellar report, and Mobilize Recovery for being such a stellar organization. We also remind everyone that recovery is possible. And that it all begins with a phone call. If you’re ready to hit those digits, please, by all means, give us a ring.
Image courtesy The Voices Project.