As part of National Recovery Month, National Wellness Week, which runs from September 19-25, highlights ways to live a longer, healthier life if you or someone you know is in recovery from a mental or substance use disorder. People with untreated mental and substance use disorders often die decades earlier than those in the general population.
According to Million Hearts—a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next 5 years—heart disease causes one in every three deaths in the United States. Overall, Americans suffer more than two million heart attacks and strokes every year. People living with untreated mental and substance use disorders are at even greater risk than the general population of developing cardiovascular disease. The goals of the Million Hearts initiative are consistent with National Wellness Week’s focus on increasing years of life for people with mental and substance use disorders.
During National Wellness Week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will partner with the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health to encourage individuals to improve one physical health behavior, while exploring their talents, skills, interests, social connections, and environment. Hundreds of consumer/peer-run, faith- based, and other community organizations, as well as behavioral health and primary care providers, will host events nationwide in support of National Wellness Week and to promote the Eight Dimensions of Wellness, which are:
- Social – Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
- Environmental – Promoting good health by occupying pleasant, safe, and stimulating environments that support well-being
- Physical – Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, nutrition, and sleep while discouraging the use of tobacco, drugs, and excessive alcohol consumption
- Emotional – Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships Spiritual – Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life
- Occupational – Gaining personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
- Intellectual – Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
- Financial – Feeling satisfied with current and future financial situations
On Friday, thousands of people across the country will put on their dancing shoes for a “Line Dance for Wellness.” Line dancing spans generations and cultures, while building community connections. It is an ideal example of how to incorporate both the physical and social dimension of wellness by bringing people together for fun and a bit of exercise.
Find out how you can participate in National Wellness Week. Find activities in your community, learn how to coordinate activities of your own or share information about the National Wellness Week activities you plan to host.