Local public health consultant uses his own experiences to raise awareness of addiction recovery

Tony Mercer, WCC PH Consultant Published Thursday, 16th September 2021

A local Public Health Consultant at Worcestershire County Council will be drawing on his own experiences to help raise awareness of addiction recovery.

This week, he’ll be chairing a conference for National Recovery Month which recognises those in recovery and aims to remove the stigmas attached to addiction.

Tony Mercer understands what it takes to reach out and get help only too well. In long term recovery himself, he has been working in the field and has been a supporter for recovery, for 15 years.

Tony said: “It is so important that we put a face and voice to people in recovery so that people realise that addiction can affect people from all backgrounds. 

“Recovery month is about celebrating recovery and challenging stigma, because the stigma can prevent people coming forward and getting the vital help they need.

“I’ve been fortunate, working in public health I’ve not had to face the stigma that so many people have, but it still takes a lot to accept you need help.

“We want people to know that treatment and support is available here in Worcestershire for those struggling with a drugs or alcohol problem, and support is available for their families too.”

In addition to his official public health role, Tony is also a volunteer for FAVOR, Faces and Voices of Recovery, an advocacy charity promoting recovery.

In the UK, as part of National Recovery Month, FAVOR are co-ordinating a number of events to promote the theme, Recovery is for Everyone. These events promote treatment and recovery, recognize the strength and resilience of people living in recovery, and acknowledge service providers and community members who make recovery in all its forms possible.

The annual FAVORUK Conference 2021 is being held in Newcastle this year. Tony has been invited as a returning chair. Among the speakers will be MP Dan Carden, who gave a moving and personal speech about his own journey to the Houses of Parliament this summer.

The conference, is taking place on Friday 17th September and is being livestreamed via Facebook.  The topic being covered this year, is ‘Addiction and Recovery in the LGBT Community’. Anyone who is interested can join the event  by visiting the FAVOR Facebook page: Faces & Voices of Recovery UK | Facebook

County Councillor, Karen May, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing added: “We are very supportive of Tony and his work to promote drug and alcohol services in Worcestershire. This year’s theme reminds us that people in recovery and those who support them can be anyone, that no one is alone in the journey and recovery belongs to all of us.”

If you or someone you know needs support, the county’s drug and alcohol recovery service is delivered by Cranstoun Worcestershire - Cranstoun. They can be contacted via email cranstounworcsreferrals@cranstoun.org.uk or by phone on 0300 303 8200.