National Prevention Week aims to increase awareness of mental health, substance abuse disorders

National Prevention Week aims to increase awareness of mental health, substance abuse disorders
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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Prevention Week (NPW), an annual public education platform aimed at increasing public awareness of mental health and/or substance use disorders, will run this week from May 10 through May 16.

Each weekday has a specific theme. This year’s themes concern the prevention of prescription drug and opioid misuse, underage drinking and alcohol misuse, illicit drug use and youth marijuana use, youth tobacco use, including e-cigarettes and vaping, and suicide.

The goals of NPW are to promote and disseminate quality substance use prevention and mental health promotion resources and publications, foster partnerships and collaborations with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to improving public health, and involve communities in raising awareness and implementing prevention strategies.

“We know communities make prevention happen every day – not just during NPW – and NPW is the perfect time to promote and celebrate a year’s worth of prevention efforts, as well as get news, ideas, and resources to strengthen daily, weekly, and monthly prevention activities,” the agency said.

NPW is held in May because it is close to the end of the school year. June and July are the months full-time college students and adolescents commonly use substances for the first time, according to National Survey on Drug Use and Health data.

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