Participate in National Prevention Week

Calling all agents of change and coalition leaders! Get ready for National Prevention Week, an annual health observance encouraging public action around substance abuse and mental health issues. This year’s National Prevention Week will take place May 17-23.

The theme for this year’s National Prevention Week is The Voice of One, the Power of All.

Launched in 2012, National Prevention Week is an annual celebration supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). National Prevention Week was established with three goals in mind:

  1. To promote and disseminate quality behavioral health publications and resources;

  2. To promote awareness of behavioral health issues and implement prevention strategies; and

  3. To develop partnerships and foster collaboration between federal and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health causes.

Want to know HOW to participate in National Prevention Week? Here are a few suggestions recommended by SAMHSA:

  • Join the “I Choose” Project— Lead by example! The “I Choose” Project is a simple, effective way to take action and make a difference. Take a picture of yourself holding a sign with a personal message about why substance abuse prevention and/or mental health is important to you. Want your photo posted on the SAMHSA “I Choose” photo gallery page? Learn about how to submit photos here.

  • Take the “Prevention Pledge”— Your words are more powerful than you think. Show your commitment to prevention by taking the Prevention Pledge and sharing your personal or community story on SAMHSA’s Facebook page. Once you make the Pledge, you can encourage local youth and parents in your community to also take the Pledge.

  • Plan an Event for Your Community— One way to increase public awareness about substance abuse prevention and mental disorders is by hosting a local event in line with National Prevention Week. For inspiration on ways you and your community can take action, look here at how other communities and organizations are celebrating National Prevention Week 2015. Or, check out Communities in Action, SAMHSA’s yearbook of past Prevention Week events hosted by communities throughout the country.

  • Use SAMHSA’s Toolkit for Planning Your Event— Check out SAMHSA’s event ideas page for design and implementation strategies. Tools include suggestions for planning the event and a planning checklist!

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your National Prevention Week 2015 event today! For more ideas on how to help spread awareness about substance abuse and mental health issues during National Prevention Week, click here.