National Prevention Week is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental health and/or substance use disorders. National Prevention Week (NPW) is held each year during May. Originally, SAMHSA chose this timing because it is near the start of summer, an important time for school, communities, and prevention professionals to re-focus on prevention. Adolescents and full-time college students most often use substances for the first time during June or July, according to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data on adolescents – 2012 (PDF | 704 KB) and NSDUH data on full-time college students – 2015 (PDF | 1.2 MB).
Purpose of National Prevention Week
The three primary goals of National Prevention Week are to:
- Involve communities in raising awareness of substance use and mental health issues and in implementing prevention strategies, and showcasing effectiveness of evidence-based prevention programs;
- Foster partnerships and collaborations with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to improving public health; and
- Promote and disseminate quality substance use prevention and mental health promotion resources and publications.
Learn more and see how you can participate: National Prevention Week