In the wake of the recent International Overdose Awareness Day, Victoria is hosting the nationally recognized Recovery Day on Sept. 16.
The day recognizes people’s sobriety, or their journey through addictions and recovery from a variety of issues, ranging from substance abuse, to mental health problems and homelessness.
“We’re not just talking about recovery, or people thinking about recovery,” said event organizer, Michelle Chase. “We’re talking to people looking to recover from smoking, food, substance abuse, mental health difficulties, and we’re celebrating the fact that harm reduction does indeed save lives.”
The day has been celebrated nationally since 2012 and is hosted by almost 50 cities in Canada throughout September. However, it’s not been easy to get the event going in Victoria.
Last year, two separate organizations backed out of hosting Recovery Day, so Chase, a frontline worker helping those battling homelessness and addictions, stepped in as an organizer with a month’s notice.
“People can’t afford to go to Vancouver and celebrate and have awareness, so I thought ‘why not?’” she said. “I’m a person of long-term recovery, so myself and another volunteer pulled it together. It was small, but we were there.”
The event will host information booths from various support groups, food and coffee for everyone to enjoy, and resources for people to use for their own recovery, or for someone they care for.
“We want people of the public to be aware that these struggles are happening for people,” Chase said. “We’re in this together … we are connections.”
The free event happens Sunday, Sept. 16 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Centennial Square.
This Sunday (Sept. 9) a car wash will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gorge Vale Automotive, 944 Craigflower Rd., with hot dogs and coffee also for sale.
For more information, you can head to facebook.com/pg/VictoriaRecoveryDay2018/