Prepping for Fall
It's hard to imagine in the sweltering heat of mid-July, but fall is just around the corner and with it comes a long parade of opportunities to raise awareness in your community. We'll have blogs and social media posts addressing many of these in the coming months, but thought it may be helpful to have an overview as you prepare for the busy back-to-school season.
Here at the Kansas Prevention Collaborative, we've recently returned from the Integrating Primary and Behavioral Health Care Through the Lens of Prevention conference in New Orleans, LA. This conference was an excellent time of learning and networking with people doing prevention work all over the United States. As our nation moves toward better integrated healthcare, it's exciting to see coalitions, doctors, educators, researchers, and preventionists working together to ensure that communities are healthy and families are strong. You all are a vital part of this movement and we're so grateful that we get to work alongside you as you build healthy communities across Kansas.
September's main focus is National Suicide Prevention Week (September 5-11) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th). Throughout the month of September, we'll be talking about things like recognizing the symptoms of suicide, where to go for help if you or a loved one are suicidal, and safe media messaging.
National Family Day also takes place in September (September 26th). Studies have shown that positive family environments may be a protective factor in preventing substance abuse and suicide in young people. This day serves as a reminder to support families and help them provide a safe, supportive environment for young people and adults alike.
October is yet another month packed full of opportunities to support prevention efforts in your community. Along with being National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and National Bullying Prevention Month, it also gives voice to National Mental Illness Week (October 3-9), World Mental Health Day (October 10th), and the National Red Ribbon Celebration (October 23-31). Our fall PreventionWorKS meeting for Kansas coalition members is also happening on the 18th of October. For a full list of upcoming awareness campaigns and events, check out our calendar.
With so much to prepare for, it's good to begin thinking about which awareness campaigns you'd like to be involved in. Whether you're a parent, an educator, or a coalition member, there are many opportunities for you to be part of the ongoing work to improve Kansas communities.
Make sure to join us for PreventionTalKS, the virtual learning collaborative that takes place at noon on the first Thursday of every month. The upcoming topics are Preventing Rx Misuse in Your Community (August 4th) and Tackling Tobacco (September 1st). They will provide great tips and resources for substance abuse prevention efforts in your community.
Follow us on Facebook to stay informed of upcoming events! If there are prevention stories happening in your community or you'd like us to put your event on our calendar, email us at KPCTeam@wichita.edu.
Kaela Moore, BA
Kansas Prevention Collaborative