May 8, 2012

Are you ready for National Prevention Week?

National Prevention Week is a new annual health observance supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It celebrates the work community organizations and individuals do year-round to prevent substance abuse and promote mental, emotional and behavioral well-being and it’s right around the corner.

The first-ever SAMHSA-supported National Prevention Week is from May 20 to 26 with the theme “We are the ones. How are you taking action?”

According to SAMHSA’s website, the choice of holding National Prevention Week in May was consciously made. Near the start of summer, the season filled with celebrations and recreational activities that can potentially be linked to substance use and abuse — a good time to put focus on prevention efforts — such as graduation parties, proms, weddings, boating and camping excursions. National Prevention Week 2012 is also timed to allow schools to take part in a prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness for students of all ages.

In addition to the greater theme of “We are the ones,” certain days of the week also have specific prevention themes. They include the following:


Monday, May 21

Prevention of Underage Drinking

Tuesday, May 22

Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use

Wednesday, May 23

Prevention of Alcohol Abuse

Thursday, May 24

Suicide Prevention

Friday, May 25

Promotion of Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Well-Being


SAMHSA has a toolkit available for free on its website, which is meant to help community organizations, schools, individuals and others planNational Prevention Weekevents, celebrations and observances.

The “We are the ones” theme for National Prevention Week 2012was introduced in spring 2011 through a video contest. The contest encouraged young adults to create a public service announcement that showed how their daily decisions around substance abuse prevention and the promotion of mental health make a difference in their communities. Here’s the winning video, which can also be seen on SAMHSA’s YouTube channel.

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