National Prevention Week: May 12-18

In May 2012, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) initiated National Prevention Week, an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. This observance is an opportunity to join with other individuals, organizations and coalitions in your community to promote prevention efforts, educate others about behavioral health issues and create and strengthen community partnerships.

KFP hopes that you and your community will take time during the week of May 12–18 to learn more about prevention, share helpful resources with others and get involved with local prevention efforts. This year’s theme, “Your voice. Your choice. Make a difference.,” emphasizes that the prevention of substance abuse and promotion of mental health starts with the choices each of us makes in our own life. Through our choices, we can set an example of health and well-being for others. With our voices – whether spoken or written – we can raise awareness of behavioral health issues and help create healthier and safer communities.

Take the “Prevention Pledge”

Since 2012, thousands of people have shown their commitment to prevention and healthy living by signing the “Prevention Pledge.” Available on SAMHSA’s Facebook page, this pledge is a way for everyone to play a role in prevention and share that commitment with friends and family.

Plan and Host a Prevention Event

KFP encourages communities to host events during National Prevention Week, or any time of the year, that:
• Raise awareness about substance abuse and mental health issues;
• Build support for wellness and prevention practices;
• Promote mental, emotional and behavioral well-being; and
• Highlight the power of prevention.
Check out SAMHSA’s website for a list of events and activities hosted by community organizations across the country during National Prevention Week 2012.

Participate in the “I Choose” Project

New for National Prevention Week 2013, the “I Choose” Project invites you to take a photograph of yourself or your friends holding a sign with a written statement about why you or they choose prevention. Photos will be uploaded to the “I Choose” photo gallery for others to see.

Distribute Educational Resources

Each day during National Prevention Week 2013 has a suggested theme that organizations and coalitions can use to guide the focus of community events. To see a list of these themes and KFP resources available to support each theme, check out pages four and five of our spring newsletter. For additional resources on each substance abuse or mental health topic, see page three for a list of national websites related to behavioral health issues.