Last year, over 40 percent of adults and 25 percent of adolescents experienced mental health disorders, while over 100,000 people died from overdoses. At the local level, prevention teams are addressing these challenges by educating communities and providing early interventions to youth at risk of developing serious behavioral health disorders.
National Prevention Week (May 9-14) recognizes these efforts to reduce the risk of adolescent substance use and mental health at an early age.
Rosecrance Central Illinois’ prevention team serves over 4,000 youth each year in 30 schools with age-appropriate, evidence-based programming that emphasizes life skills and the benefits of a drug-free life. This includes a specialized curriculum about vaping. In addition, prevention staff provide community education classes and work with area coalitions to provide community-based strategies to keep youth healthy.
“Prevention teams recognize the importance of building a support system around young individuals who may develop behavioral health concerns while their brain is still maturing,” said Jennifer Jackson, Prevention and Education Coordinator. “We mentor youth to give them the assurance they need, and we work with communities to create places where a lifetime of health for our young people is a priority.”