National Prevention Week is right around the corner. Being held May 14 to 20, the week is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders. The theme for National Prevention Week 2017 is: Making Each Day Count.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the top three goals of National Prevention Week are:
- To involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and in implementing prevention strategies
- To foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health
- To promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications
Do you know why National Prevention Week is held each year during the third week of May? It's because it's near the start of summer, a season filled with celebrations and recreational activities where substance use and misuse can happen.
The timing of National Prevention Week allows schools to participate in a prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness in students of all ages.
Consider that SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2004) reports that percentages of marijuana, cigarette, and alcohol initiates among youth increase between the middle of spring and early summer, and the timing of National Prevention Week supports this crucial time of year.
The 2017 Daily Health Themes are:
- Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use: Mon., May 15
- Prevention of Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse: Tue., May 16
- Prevention of Prescription and Opioid Drug Misuse: Wed., May 17
- Prevention of Illicit Drug Use and Youth Marijuana Use: Thu., May 18
- Prevention of Suicide: Fri., May 19
- Promotion of Mental Health and Wellness: Sat., May 20
A number of helpful resources are available on the National Prevention Week website, including free promotional materials and a Planning Toolkit for the week. Learn more about SAMHSA's National Prevention Week at samhsa.gov/prevention-week.
Source: SAMHSA - Prevention Week website