Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen graced the opening ceremony of the National Recovery Symposium, a three-day event organised by The Pema Secretariat to help address the issues of substance use and substance use disorder.
The National Recovery Symposium brings together professionals, policymakers, community leaders, family members and individuals in recovery to strengthen care and aftercare services for individuals with substance use disorder and foster a robust recovery community.
The ceremony, which was attended by the Prime Minister, senior government leaders, representatives from development partners, experts and participants, recognised the contribution of volunteers whose work has impacted the lives and recovery journeys of numerous individuals. It also celebrated the achievements of recovering individuals who have overcome setbacks and obstacles to lead healthy and productive lives.
Her Majesty presented certificates of commendation to the volunteers, comprising of counsellors as well as those in recovery who have established groups and communities to help others. Awards for recognition of Sobriety were presented to those who have been free from substance use for more than three years.
Individuals in recovery also had the opportunity to share their stories and recovery journey.
The Pema Center Secretariat was established under the Royal Initiative of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen to help care for the mental health and wellbeing of all Bhutanese, through improved policies and programmes, multi-sectoral partnerships, and service delivery network.
The event, which marks the first annual Pema Symposium on Mental Health, has the theme “Substance use disorder is a preventable and treatable disease”. It brings together groups and individuals to discuss and understand the science, social issues and effective treatment strategies for substance use disorder, highlighting the importance of compassion and empathy for a comprehensive national response.