Smilebox_2711383821Pathway To Hope Steps Up To Support Area “Walk For Recovery”

Hundreds of walkers are expected to kick off morning activities at the 2nd Annual Mike Johnson Memorial Walk for Recovery on Saturday, September 10, 2011 beginning at 8:00 a.m. to help raise awareness of substance abuse and mental health disorders, prevention and treatment. The Walk will begin at Washington Park in Kansas City, Missouri and wind past the Kansas City Power and Light district, the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and around the Liberty Memorial. There is no cost to walk. However, with a $20 donation, participants will receive an event t-shirt, lunch, and goodie bag. For more information and to register, visit

The Walk for Recovery was named in honor of Mike Johnson, a long-time Kansas City resident, who lost his battle to addiction. It celebrates his life and emphasizes that substance use and mental health disorders are with us throughout our community.

Immediately following the Walk, participants will enjoy a festival with live music, food, and family activities in recognition of National Recovery Month, a national initiative sponsored annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Recovery Benefits Everyone,” emphasizes the message that behavioral health is an essential part of one’s overall wellness.

In 2009, 4.3 million people aged 12 or older (1.7 percent of the population) received treatment for substance use disorders, and 30.2 million adults aged 18 or older (13.3 percent of the population) received services for mental health problems according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

“It is essential for the Kansas City community to remain dedicated to the recovery process by advocating for resources which confront treatable substance abuse and mental health disorders, while supporting individuals in long-term recovery and their families,” said Sharon Lawrenz, Executive Director of Pathway To Hope. “We are so pleased to help sponsor and be a part of this important community effort to build awareness and foster support for those dealing with the challenges of mental illness and substance abuse.”