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Tenth Annual National Prevention Week

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 10, 2021
DSS Media Contact: Steve Long, steve.long@state.sd.us or 605-773-5465

Tenth Annual National Prevention Week

PIERRE – Governor Kristi Noem has proclaimed May 9-15, 2021, as Prevention Week in South Dakota. The goal is raising public awareness and action around substance use and mental health disorders. This year marks a decade for National Prevention Week. 

Prevention has been proven to be effective in creating safe and healthy individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Prevention resources are available year round through the Department of Social Services (DSS) for any individual, family, or organization that is interested. 

“Mental illness and substance use disorders can affect anybody at any time,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “We know the impact these disorders can have on individuals as well as their families and friends. Education about these difficult topics is vital to the strength of South Dakota families.”

South Dakota’s contracted prevention network provides behavioral health prevention and awareness education to school-aged children, adults, and communities across the state.  Prevention places a focus on helping people develop the knowledge, attitude, and skills they need to make healthy choices. Having that education and skills ahead of time can make a major difference.

“Most folks don’t expect to deal with mental illness and substance use disorders. Knowing what to look for helps identify an issue before it becomes a major problem,” Gill said. “Being prepared and educated gives people strength. It promotes the resilience needed to quickly recover if times unexpectedly get tough.” 

DSS works all year to get the word out about prevention, and this week we join the rest of the nation in calling extra attention to where these resources can be found. 

To learn more about resource options, visit dss.sd.gov and click on the Behavioral Health tab.