National Prevention Week Happens May 12-18, 2024

National Prevention Week (NPW) 2024, reflecting the theme “A Celebration of Possibility,” happens May 12 – 18, 2024. Connecticut will mark this observance in a number of ways, including a special event at the Connecticut Science Center on May 18, from 11 am to 3 pm. In addition to the statewide event, the Regional Behavioral Heath Action Organizations (RBHAOs) and Local Prevention Councils (LPCs) around the state are doing a variety of activities to celebrate the impact of prevention and to promote mental health as part of NPW 2024.

National Prevention Week is designed to increase public awareness of, and action around, mental health and/or substance use disorders. 

The Statewide Event
The National Prevention Week statewide (rain-or-shine) event will take place at the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford on May 18, 2024, from 11 am to 3 pm and will happen jointly with the Science Center’s “Make it Grow” program. Prevention professionals, state and local leaders, and community-based prevention organizations, including the Change the Script resource van, and local mascots, including the CT Prevention Mascot, Starfish Stella, are scheduled for attendance. Local youth performances are also planned, and four books written and signed by Laurel Lorenzini will be available for parents who sign up for a family newsletter. Additionally, through a unique poster project, selected prevention organizations will showcase their organization’s prevention project, campaign, or initiative. 

“National Prevention Week’s theme of ‘A Celebration of Possibility’ captures the Department’s efforts to promote the health and wellness of all Connecticut residents. By raising awareness, and increasing education around substance misuse and mental health, we can reduce stigma, promote early intervention and prevention, and offer helpful resources,” said DMHAS Commissioner Nancy Navarretta. “This week we highlight our work to help residents of all ages to make intentional choices that positively affect their health as well as the health of their families and communities.”

“National Prevention Week provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the work of communities and organizations across Connecticut and to highlight how they are preventing substance use and promoting positive mental health,” said Judith Stonger, MA, CPS, vice president of Prevention, Wellness and Recovery, Wheeler Health. “The statewide event, especially, brings together all aspects of the prevention community so that we can learn, grow, and continue to work collaboratively to change lives and behaviors.” 

More About National Prevention Week 
National Prevention Week (NPW) is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental health and/or substance use disorders. Communities make prevention happen every day – not just during NPW – and NPW is the perfect time to promote and celebrate prevention activities and resources in our communities.
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.

NPW in Connecticut is coordinated by a Planning Committee that is led by Wheeler’s Connecticut Clearinghouse and includes: the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), Connecticut Clearinghouse, CT Council on Problem Gambling, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership (GPP), New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NEHIDTA), the Prevention Training and Technical Assistance Service Center (TTASC), Regional Behavioral Health Action Organizations (RBHAOs), and Local Prevention Councils and other coalitions serving Connecticut communities.

Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services 
The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is a health care agency whose mission is to promote the overall health and wellness of persons with behavioral health needs through an integrated network of holistic, comprehensive, effective, and efficient services and supports that foster dignity, respect, and self-sufficiency in those we serve. While the Department's prevention services serve all Connecticut citizens, its mandate is to serve adults (over 18 years of age) with psychiatric or substance use disorders, or both, who lack the financial means to obtain such services on their own. 

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