crowdOfHappyPeopleThe Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) is launching an exciting new initiative to prevent substance use and promote mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being—National Prevention Week.

This inaugural observance of National Prevention Week will bring communities together through local events, rallies, and celebrations focusing on the prevention of substance use and the promotion of mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.

National Prevention Week 2012 will be held May 20 to May 26, 2012, and will embrace the theme, "We are the ones. How are you taking action?"

This theme asks individuals and communities to reflect on what they can do in their own lives and within their communities to prevent substance abuse and promote mental health, and recognizes that small changes can make a big difference.

Each weekday during National Prevention Week 2012 will focus on an important behavioral health issue:

Information about National Prevention Week will become available through the National Prevention Week Web site. The website will provide information on getting involved in this national observance, background information about National Prevention Week and its alignment with SAMHSA's Strategic Initiatives, community and programmatic resources related to the five themes of National Prevention Week, and a printable version of the "Prevention Pledge" which visitors can print and share with others in their family or community. An interactive version of the "Prevention Pledge" is available through SAMHSA's Facebook page. By taking the "Prevention Pledge" visitors can commit to a healthy lifestyle free of substance abuse, and share this pledge with friends, family, and loved ones.

In early spring, the National Prevention Toolkit will be available to assist communities in planning and promoting National Prevention Week 2012 events. The Toolkit will include additional information on this national observance, event ideas, budget-saving tips, a planning timeline, tips and tools for event promotion (including templates for traditional and social media), fact sheets, and recommended resources.

Please help promote the importance of prevention in your community during National Prevention Week, May 20-26, 2012.

Note: NCADD also celebrates National Alcohol- and Other Drug-Related Birth Defects Awareness Week during during the month of May (May 13 - 19.) Come back often and check this site for future updates on this event.