This month, Compass Mark was among the many organizations across the country that celebrated National Prevention Week. This annual health observance is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders. For organizations dedicated to preventing substance abuse, this week provides an opportunity to celebrate the past year’s prevention efforts and brainstorm ways to strengthen ongoing prevention activities.

To celebrate the week and spread the word about prevention, Compass Mark had information tables at various events and locations throughout the week, including the Lebanon Valley Mall and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ 26th annual Health and Safety Awareness Day at Fort Indianatown Gap Training Site.

But this week isn’t just about organizations like ours. It’s about everyone coming together to make our communities healthier and safe. Compass Mark can’t make a difference in our community without your help. We hope that you took the time to get involved in National Prevention Week and will join us again (or perhaps for the first time) next year. You can make a difference by:

  • Spreading the word about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. As a parent, teacher, or any sort of role model for youth, it’s important to not only set a good example, but to let them know the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. As Deb McCoy explained during an educational series last fall, children who aren’t involved in these discussions and aren’t well informed are at greater risk for engaging in unsafe behaviors and experimentation. She provided some tips for how to have these conversations with your children based on their age group. You can find more information about how to talk to kids about drugs here.
  • Talking to a friend or loved one if you’re concerned about them. If you suspect someone may be struggling with addiction or has had a relapse, it’s important to speak up and support them on the road to recovery. However, you should be careful about what language you use. Stick with language that reflects positivity and empowers your loved one to maintain recovery and live a healthy life. For more tips on how to speak about addiction, view this “Say this, not that” infographic.
  • Last but not least: Be a Prevention Champion. Communities don’t only need preventionists like our staff here at Compass Mark. They also rely on prevention champions or, as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines them, “passionate individuals and organizations that are invested in creating healthier communities.” There are 17 local coalitions in which you can get involved in order to help build stronger, healthier communities.

Compass Mark is proud to take part in National Prevention Week, a celebration of the battle we fight each and every day. Thank you to those of you who joined in the prevention efforts this week and all year long!

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