National Prevention Week

Author: Janeane Krongos, Tillamook Family Counseling Center
Mark your calendars…this year’s National Prevention Week (NPW) is May 8th through May 14th. NPW is an annual public health observance supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). Throughout this weeklong public health observance, health professionals, schools staff, organizations, and community members come together to raise awareness of substance use and mental health issues, promote local prevention efforts, share prevention resources, support prevention professionals, and promote positive mental health.
This year, SAMHSA selected six daily themes. This year’s themes are, Monday Strengthening Community Resilience: Substance Misuse and Overdose Prevention, Tuesday Preventing Substance Use and Promoting Mental Health in Youth, Wednesday Preventing Suicide: Everyone Plays a Role, Thursday the Talent Pipeline: Enhancing the Prevention Workforce, and Friday Prevention is Everywhere: Highlighting Efforts Across Settings and Communities, and Saturday celebrating prevention heroes.
Local health entities will be participating in this year’s public health observance. Activities that will take place in Tillamook County during NPW include, distribution of substance use prevention and mental health information, Question, Persuade, & Refer(QPR) Gatekeeper Training, “Introduction to Underage Substance use and Gambling Prevention” presentation, and interagency social media coordination. This year, I encourage community members to join local health agencies in participating in this public health observance. Continue reading to get some ideas of ways that you can participate.
• If you are a parent or caregiver, have a conversation with your children about underage substance use and gambling. In the conversation, state family rules, provide facts, and let your children know that they can come to you with questions or concerns. For conversation about talking to your kids about substance use, review SAMHSA’s Talk They Hear You campaign at www.samhsa.gov. For tips for talking to kids about problem gambling prevention, review the prevention material on the Oregon Problem Gambling Resource at www.opgr.org.
• If you are a teacher, consider integrating prevention topics into class lessons. Prevention topics fit in nicely with in many school courses including health, life skills, science, and physical education classes. Teachers can find free materials for educators online. SAMHSA and the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse are two websites I recommend for teachers. Both of these websites are reliable, easy to navigate, and are updated regularly. Examples of resources that you will find on SAMHSA’s website include: “What Educators Can Do to Help Prevent Underage Drinking and Other Drug Use”, conversation tips, and recorded webinars. These resources are located at www.samhsa.org. Examples of resources that you will find on National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens include: classroom activities, lesson plans, and information about the effects of underage substance use. These resources are located at www.teens.drugabuse.gov.
• Encourage teens to visit and review the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens website (www.teens.drugabuse.gov). On this website, teens can find age appropriate prevention resources including the “Mind Matters” video series, quizzes, activities, mental health information, and messages of hope.
• Support local health organizations by following their social media pages and by engaging with their social media post (like, share, and save). Health entities to consider following include: Tillamook Family Counseling Center, SOS Tillamook, OSU Extension Services Tillamook, Tillamook County Community Health Center, and Tillamook County Wellness.
• If you are an adult who lives or works in Tillamook County and spends time with youth, consider signing up for the “Introduction to Underage Substance use and Gambling Prevention” presentation. This presentation will be presented virtually by Tillamook Family Counseling Center on May 9th, from 10:00 to 11:00AM. To learn more about this free training email Janeanek@tfcc.org.
• If you take prescription medication, routinely take inventory of your medication and look for unused and expired medication. One of the easiest ways to dispose of medication is to take them to a permanent drop box location. To locate local drop boxes visit: www.fda.gov.
• If you are an adult, consider signing up for a Question, Persuade, and Refer Gatekeeper training. This training is an evidence based suicide prevention training. The Tillamook Family Counseling Center will present this training at no cost to community members on May 11th, from 10:00 to 11:30AM. To learn more email Janeanek@tfcc.org.
• Visit and review the NPW webpage. On the webpage, you can learn about the history of NPW, download promotional information, and access toolkits at www.samhsa.gov.
If you have any questions about this column or about the prevention program at Tillamook Family Counseling Center please feel free to contact me at Janeanek@tfcc.org.

June 3, 2022

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