This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
This week, Carson City Health & Human Services is observing National Prevention Week (May 15–21) for behavioral health and/or substance abuse disorders, an awareness initiative developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The overall theme for 2016 is—Strong As One, Stronger Together—recognizing that one person can make a positive difference in their community, but when we all unite together we can achieve even more.
Locally, community health partners representing social service agencies, law enforcement, public health, healthcare and more have gathered to form what is known as the Carson City Behavioral Health Task Force to address the mental and/or substance abuse needs of our community. This task force, steered by Carson City Counseling & Supportive Services, intends to identify and address the needs of individuals with mental and/or substance abuse disorders, as well as reduce the number of barriers for individuals seeking care.
In addition, the Carson City Behavioral Health Task Force feeds into an overarching Regional Behavioral Health Coalition, whose mission is to discuss and coordinate behavioral health policies, processes and activities across Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and Storey Counties. These forward-thinking partnerships exemplify how Carson City is working “stronger together” to recognize the needs of our community and leverage any available resources.
National Prevention Week is strategically held each year during the third week of May, near the start of summer. While summer is notably recognized as a season filled with celebrations and recreational activities, it is important to recognize the increased risk of substance use and abuse at events such as graduation parties, proms, weddings, sporting events, and outdoor activities. According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2004), percentages of marijuana, cigarette and alcohol activities among youth increase between the spring and summer months (April – July).
If you or someone you know is in need of behavioral health and/or substance abuse services, please contact Carson Counseling and Supportive Services at (775) 687-4195.
To find out more about National Prevention Week, please visit http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week. For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CCHHS.