Recovery in the Stix

Jake Perryman
Staff Writer

A journey of a thousand miles may begin with the first step, but it can be a long one when you live in a rural area.
Today, the 12th annual Recovery in the Stix event aims to make that step a little shorter for consumers of mental health services by bringing providers to their doorstep.
The event, which is being held at the Johnsonburg Fire Hall at 99 Clarion Road, Johnsonburg, beginning at 9 a.m., will bring mental health service providers from across the region — including from Clearfield, Jefferson and Tioga counties — to Johnsonburg.
A total of 21 vendors — including organizations such as Dickinson, Cen-Clear and Beacon, and even an essential oils vendor giving a talk — signed up for the event, according to Judy Smith, program specialist with Cameron Elk MHMR.
"This is our 12th year of doing this," Smith said. "The first year we did it, we had 60 to 80 people. This year we have 250 registered."
That growth is key to the event's mission, according to Smith.
"Everybody needs to know they have a place in the community," she said. "That's our goal for everybody. To recognize the mental health world and give consumers the opportunity to see what services are out there."
It's not just mental health services. Smith said other vendors are included as well.
"We try to represent as much of the community as we can," she noted.
The consumers themselves are behind the event.
Each year, those served by Cameron Elk MHMR pick a theme for the event. This year, the event is titled "Join the Ride to Recovery" and features a carnival theme.
"This conference is consumer driven," Smith said. "They come up with all of the ideas. We help them orchestrate it.
"They look forward to it every year and it's just something they're very proud of," she added.
Refreshements will be served in the morning and afternoon at the all-day event, while speakers will be featured throughout the day. Speakers this year include David Delvau and Jamie White of Clarion Psychiatric Center, Sarah Buehler and Rita Kraus giving the essential oils talk, Chuck Sallows of Penn Highlands Behavioral Health and motivational speaker Bailey Pretak.
"It's primarily geered to the consumers," Smith said. "We want to have a recovery-oriented community, not a recovery-oriented system. Every human being has the right to live in the community as a productive member."