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Cape Town Recovery Walk raising funds to fight stigma of addiction, mental illness

The Cape Town Recovery Walk in Long Street. Picture: Tracey Adams

The Cape Town Recovery Walk in Long Street. Picture: Tracey Adams

Published Jun 23, 2023


Cape Town - The Department of Social Development continues to mark its annual National Anti-Drug Awareness drive before International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day, on June 26.

One of the campaign’s aims is to combat stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs by promoting language and attitudes that are respectful and non-judgmental.

In Cape Town, the Recovery Walk group – focused on fighting this stigma – has launched a Back-a-buddy campaign to raise funds before its annual “Recovery Walk” to be held on Saturday, September 30.

The walk celebrates recovery from addiction and mental illness, and is a platform where various people in the field of recovery can network, talk to one another and celebrate what can be done when working together.

Participants at a previous Recovery Walk. Picture supplied

Asked if there was a target amount they were hoping to raise, co-ordinator and a founding member of the walk, Jenny Chadwick, said: “There is no target, it is just an ongoing fundraising for running costs of the event.

“The monies raised every year go to printing costs, paying for venue hire, portable toilets at the venue, the printing of T-shirts, petrol, transport, stickers, articles, promotion, social media, prizes and sound hire.”

Occupational therapist Debbie Bub, who is also a founding member of the walk, said they had been growing an Open Recovery Movement within Cape Town.

“This highlights the solutions people have found in dealing with their addiction and mental illness. The Recovery Walk shows that recovery is real.

“We strongly challenge the stigma that shames and silences us. Seldom are events organised that focus primarily on supporting and enhancing our mental health. The Recovery Walk provides a platform for being open about our mental health concerns and our recovery.

“This is a sober event. September is International Recovery Month. We walk in unity with recovery communities throughout the world.”

This year’s event will again be held at the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital hall, in Mitchells Plain.

It is the event’s ninth year running and donations can be made at: Recovery Walk Cape Town https: //

Celebrating the end of a previous Recovery Walk. Picture supplied

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Cape Argus