The first ever Regional Recovery Conference was held on September 16, 2006 in Poplar Bluff at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center. The conference theme was “No Shame in Recovery.” The conference purpose was to gain the knowledge, tools, and resources to encourage personal growth and a solid recovery foundation. The event attracted over 100 individuals who were in recovery, seeking recovery, family/friends of those in treatment/recovery, or supporters of recovery.
The MRN was represented by Brenda Schell, MRN Project Director, and Clif Johnson, MRN Council Vice Chair, addressing the mission, values, and goals of the Missouri Recovery Network. Several in attendance became members of MRN and were willing to serve the MRN in some capacity to help advocate for recovery. Other speakers included Martin Davis, therapist and author of Ashes Into Gold: The Journey of Spirituality; Dr. Charles Smith, author, lecturer and licensed counselor with expertise in subjects ranging from self-esteem to grief; Wayne White, Advanced Substance Abuse Counselor; Rev. Ben Jordan, Motivational Speaker; Jane Pfefferkorn, Executive Director of Mission Missouri; Tony Pickrell, Regional Advisory Council; Janet McLane-Li, Southeast Community Treatment Center; Bishop Ron Webb, Christian Restoration Center, and other representatives from Al-Anon and other various 12 step programs.
The Host and Coordinator of the conference, Austin Montague, should be commended for all of his hard work and dedication regarding the planning, marketing, coordinating, and implementation of this conference. As was stated in the conference, there is “No Shame in Recovery,” and that “Recovery is Real and Does Happen.” It is up to all of us to Break the Silence of Recovery and share experiences and successes.
MRN shared that for too long there has been no unified public voice advocating on behalf of recovery and those who still need to achieve it. The few voices that have spoken up tend to be viewed by the public and policymakers as rare exceptions. Voices advocating for the important prevention and treatment have been heard, but silence and anonymity keeps recovery a private matter.
THIS SILENCE MUST END! This conference was an endeavor to link all recovery individuals, groups, and organizations together for the common good of restoring individuals back into the workforce as productive members of our society! The voices spoke. We just hope they will continue to speak out and break the silence!