Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most. Like the time you comforted your child when he or she came home crying after being bullied. Or the time you encouraged your best friend to quit smoking and offered support. Or maybe it was the time your cousin told you having another drink wasn’t going to make you feel any better.
The fact of the matter is, preventing substance abuse and promoting mental health in our communities starts with each and every one of us. The choices we make and the things we say can make a difference. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) second annual National Prevention Week is a great time to discover how we can help each other live healthier lives.
From May 12-18, 2013, SAMHSA encourages each of us to come together with our fellow community members and focus on substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion.
Each day of National Prevention Week 2013 will focus on a different behavioral health topic. Communities and individuals are encouraged to host and get involved in events that highlight these themes throughout the week.
• Sunday, May 12 – Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use
• Monday, May 13 – Prevention of Underage Drinking
• Tuesday, May 14 – Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use
• Wednesday, May 15 – Prevention of Alcohol Abuse
• Thursday, May 16 – Suicide Prevention
• Friday, May 17 – Promotion of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being
What Can I Do To Make a Difference?
You can play an important role in preventing substance abuse and promoting mental health in your
community. Here are a few ways you can help make a difference:
• Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use: Most people start using tobacco when they’re young. That’s why it’s important to talk to young people about the dangers of tobacco. If you’re a smoker, take steps to stop using tobacco. Have you tried to quit before? Don’t give up! Successfully quitting can take more than one try. Visit www.smokefree.gov for a step-by-step guide to help you quit smoking.
• Prevention of Underage Drinking: Find out about underage drinking issues where you live. Learn what your community is already doing to address the problem, how you can get involved, and what actions are still needed to make a difference. The Stop Underage Drinking website, www.stopalcoholabuse.gov, provides data and resources to address this issue.
• Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use: If you’re a parent, get involved in your child’s day-to-day activities and talk about the risks of using illicit and prescription drugs.If you think someone you know is using drugs, look for signs of use and offer assistance in finding treatment using SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, available at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov.
• Prevention of Alcohol Abuse: Join a community coalition or volunteer with a local organization that’s working to prevent alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Communities can implement prevention strategies that focus on changing the environmental conditions that encourage excessive alcohol use.
• Suicide Prevention: Learn and recognize the warning signs of suicide and offer support to anyone who is considering it. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help – call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) (English) or 1-888-628-9454 (Español).
• Promotion of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Well-Being: Well-being starts with you and your loved ones. Encourage fun, safe activities, and offer support to others in times of stress.
Visit the National Prevention Week website to learn more about this national observance and how you can make a difference or contact Amber Tisue, Regional ATOD Prevention Coordinator, Southwest Minnesota (Region 5) at 1-800-862-1453 or email@example.com.