Rutherford Recovery Fest is a community driven event that was birthed in September of 2016. This event was founded on the mission of uniting the recovery community in celebration of National Recovery Month. Since the beginning, the committee has consisted of individuals in long term recovery as well as community member recovery allies. The reasoning of this collaboration is that we understand recovery is supported through relationship and social networks. Since, we have intentionally included family members, treatment providers, social media influencers, and local faith communities. We have seen how a community with strength and resources can serve as a foundation for recovery, creating a recovery ecosystem.
Each year we always reflect on the pros and cons of the previous year’s event so we can improve and keep it holistic including the four dimensions of recovery: health, home, purpose, and community. This is important to us as recovery encompasses an individual’s whole life. Ways we have improved our methodologies is understanding recovery occurs via many pathways. Knowing that individuals are unique with distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, cultures, and backgrounds guides the event. A key principle we stand on is “Recovery is based on respect.” We support this by making sure all providers are culturally competent and trauma informed.
Another way we work to stay current with the recovery movement is gaining insight into existing barriers. We address this by inviting local and state resources to participate in this event. It includes but not limited to local housing providers, local job placement services, health care professionals, organizations that offer feeding ministries or food pantries, ministries with clothing closets, harm reduction specialist, all variety of self-help support groups along with different treatment providers.
So now we are sure you are wondering what this event may look like. The day is typically kicked off by having our local officials lead us in the pledge or serenity prayer. Then we have a variety of recovery speakers from all walks of life that alternate with live music from the recovery community. Activities include a kid’s zone that is an opportunity for young kids to enjoy a playground, bounce house, face and rock painting. For older adults we have corn hole games, football and frisbee. The grounds are filled with family and kid friendly activities and opportunities for everyone to leave with something whether it is prevention education, treatment resources, and even a full belly. As we always make this a completely free event that includes hamburgers and hotdogs.
Over the course of the last five years this event has had enormous impact not just on our county but the state. We have since partnered with seven other counties in middle Tennessee to help create the recovery ecosystem as we have in Rutherford County. We have witnessed individuals being reunited not just with families but back into their communities. Individuals rediscover their purpose in life, becoming productive members of society. Individuals gain control of their lives and health, by connecting with proper resources and support. That ultimately creates healthy and safe homes for themselves, their families, and communities.
Advancing Recovery with SAMHSA’s Principles:
Rutherford Recovery Fest intentionally encompasses SAMHSA’s 4 Dimensions of Recovery and 10 Guiding Principles. Each year, the committee identifies ways to make the event more holistic. For 2022, the event chair, a Certified Peer Support Specialist with experience working in Recovery Court and for the behavioral health safety net provider for Rutherford County, led the committee in development of a new logo and mission statement:
Rutherford Recovery Fest Mission Statement:
Educate the public on mental health and substance use disorders in order to end the stigma and foster meaningful conversations,
Equip the community through educational resources and providing a platform to share our experiences, and
Expand our influence through community outreach.
|Date||September 17, 2022|
|Time||10:00 am - 2:00 pm|