May 18-24, 2014 is National Prevention Week

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The theme for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s (SAMHSA) third annual National Prevention Week is “Our Lives. Our Health. Our Future.” The prevention week emphasizes the important role that each of us has in maintaining a healthy life and ensuring a productive future.

National Prevention Week is held each year before the summer break. Summer is a season filled with celebrations and recreational activities where substance use and abuse can happen – such as graduation parties, proms, weddings, sporting events and outdoor activities.

Mental and substance use disorders have a powerful effect on the health of individuals and on the nation’s social, economic, and health-related problems. Mental and substance use disorders are among the top conditions for disability, burden of disease, and cost to families, employers and publicly funded health systems. Excessive alcohol use and illicit drug use are linked directly to increased burden from chronic disease, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

SAMHSA is taking action to create communities where individuals, families, schools, faith-based organizations and workplaces join together to promote  emotional health and reduce the likelihood of mental illness, substance abuse including tobacco and suicide. This initiative will include a focus on the nation’s high-risk youth, youth in tribal communities and military families.

Prevention of substance abuse and the promotion of mental health services are important for personal health and well-being and create a positive impact on our communities. Pioneer Human Services supports National Prevention Week’s message that “Communities, including homes, schools, public spaces and work sites can be transformed to support well-being and make healthy choices easy and affordable.” Pioneer is also supportive of the idea that “Preventive services provide people with the information they need to make good decisions about their health,” a focus of the ‘Clinical and Community Preventive Services’ strategic direction in the National Prevention Strategy.

Monday, May 19, 2014