National Prevention Week (NPW) is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) supported annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues taking place May 9 – 15, 2021.
SAMHSA holds NPW in May each year as 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. Having local resources and programs to prevent our youth from partaking in dangerous substance abuse is vital and that’s where Beyond The Bell Savannah gets involved.
The organization’s mission is to reduce the early onset of alcohol, drug, and substance abuse among 9-20 year-olds in our region.
Beyond The Bell has a history of going above and ‘beyond’ standard prevention work. One way they are doing this is by offering a reading program called “Beyond Reading” for 3rd-5th grade students in the City of Savannah – made possible by the City of Savannah through their Community Partnerships Program.
Beyond the Bell recognized a need for a reading program for these young students as English-Language Arts scores in the City of Savannah have decreased from 2017 to 2019. The organization stands to reason under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, that these scores have further decreased in 2020.
As a prevention agency, Beyond The Bell believes it is important to target younger youth to minimize further risk. They also believe that to reduce risk, parents, educators, programs, and the community as a whole must promote positive habits and behavior.
For more information about Beyond The Bell and its programs/resources, please visit www.beyondthebellkids.org.