National Prevention Week May 10-16
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Prevention Week (NPW) is May 10 to May 16 this year. NPW is an opportunity for substance use prevention stakeholders to promote the importance of prevention. Through NPW activities, prevention stakeholders can provide resources and information to facilitate improved prevention work in communities throughout the United States. The three primary goals of NPW* are to:
- Involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and the evidence-based prevention practices that can address them
- Foster collaborations and partnerships to improve behavioral health outcomes
- Promote and disseminate quality resources and information
NPW is more important than ever this year, as the entire country deals with the impacts and disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief, as well as other risk factors for substance use, are likely to become more prevalent, increasing many peoples’ risk for engaging in use. Public health stakeholders, including prevention professionals, must collaborate and ensure that the public health response to the pandemic addresses all impacts of the virus. This includes providing education on heightened risk factors for substance use and expanding prevention activities to address them. Prevention professionals must also learn, and inform community stakeholders, about prevention activities that can implemented while social distancing requirements are in place. NPW can provide a platform for information on all of these topics to be conveyed. More information on NPW is available through SAMHSA, and prevention stakeholders can reach out the Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network or the Central East PTTC for more information on prevention topics.
In addition, to better support the prevention workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central East PTTC has developed the Substance Use Prevention Resources for Use During a Pandemic guide. Prevention stakeholders may also be interested in the policy brief: Substance Use Prevention During COVID-19.
* SAMHSA (2020). About National Prevention Week. Available at https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week/about