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National Prevention Week: “The Voice of One, the Power of All.”

National Prevention Week: “The Voice of One, the Power of All.”

Next week, May 17-23, 2015, HEARTS for Families and organizations across the nation will be celebrating National Prevention Week.

National Prevention Week, officially hosted by SAMHSA, is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. The purpose of the week is to encourage individuals, organizations and coalitions to promote prevention strategies, educate others about behavioral health issues and build community partnerships.

How to get involved in National Prevention Week

Each year, National Prevention Week has a theme and this year the theme is “The Voice of One, the Power of All.”

To be honest, we absolutely love this year’s theme! It is so important to remember how valuable the actions of one person can be to a cause. Here are just a few things you can do next week and year-round to promote the prevention of substance abuse:

Talk to your child

Talking to your child about substance abuse is one of the best things you can do to support National Prevention Week. Recent research has found that parental disapproval can be a powerful force to keep teens from succumbing to the impulse to drink. They are listening, so you need to start talking!

Pass out flyers at schools

Whether you make your own flyers about the risks of underage drinking, print some off of the SAMHSA website or use any of the infographics featured on our blog (like this or this), flyers in schools are a great way to spread the word about prevention.

Bonus: We have an infographic about social hosting that would be great to share with the adults in your community.

Share on social media

Speaking of sharing, spreading awareness about substance abuse prevention can be as easy as clicking the “share” button on Facebook or “retweet” on Twitter. Follow HEARTS for Families next week (and year-round) on Facebook and Twitter for tips on talking to your kids about alcohol, substance abuse statistics and ideas for getting your community involved in prevention.

Next week, SAMHSA will be tweeting, too. Watch the hashtag #NPW2015.

Write a letter to your congressperson

While this may sound old school, writing a letter is powerful act and members of congress want to hear from you. They are there to serve you, so they need to know what you want. Write about the need for your community to crack down on underage drinking or about the need for a social host ordinance. Just last month, a Georgia community passed a social host ordinance and community members played a huge role in making it happen.

Donate to HEARTS

Substance abuse prevention is something we deal with every day. We have our Alcohol Prevention Project, which helps prevent underage drinking in Georgia, and we have our parenting programs that help teach parents how to make good choices for themselves and how to guide their children toward good choices. Please consider donating your time or money to HEARTS for Families to support National Prevention Week and our nation’s good health.

Whenever you are feeling that you, alone, can not make a difference, remember this quote from Edmund Burke: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

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