Events to focus on mental, substance abuse disorders

Two recovery awareness events, designed to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance abuse disorders, are coming up next month in Venango and Crawford counties.

The fourth annual Venango County Recovery Celebration, to be held in conjunction with National Recovery Month, is planned from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, in Franklin’s Bandstand Park. The event, which will be free and open to the public, will celebrate those who recover.

County Commissioner Albert “Chip” Abramovic will welcome those in attendance and read a proclamation, followed by an invocation by Ed Stevenson.

At. 6 p.m., speaker Dawn Hennessey, founder and executive director of the addiction recovery support organization Faith Forward, will give a presentation on neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., several individuals in recovery will share their experiences.

A tribute wall will also be on display, where individuals can post a photo of a loved one who has lost their life due to substance abuse. All photos will be returned.

Treatment facilities, local agencies, churches and recovery organizations will display information on tables. The event also will provide links to Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery and rehabilitation facilities in the area.

The event is being sponsored by Beacon Health Options and is a collaborative effort among several groups, including Venango County commissioners and Court Supervision Services as well as Family Service & Children’s Aid Society.

Crawford County

A Recovery Celebration will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in Meadville’s Diamond Park Square.

The seventh annual event will feature activities, food, fellowship, speakers and resources. The event is sponsored by the the Crawford County Overdose Prevention Coalition.

A Road to Recovery 5k will follow at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, in Diamond Square Park. Registration for the 5k starts at 8 a.m., or individuals can sign up at