Tips for Talking With Your Kids
While at home together celebrating the holidays, take time to talk with your children about healthy choices. See Tips for talking with your kids about vaping, drugs and alcohol.
- Remember: Parents are the #1 reason that kids choose not to use drugs.
- Start young and make talking about it a regular habit.
Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 – October 15
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year from September 15 to October 15. This year’s theme, “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation,” encourages us to ensure that all voices are represented and welcomed to help build stronger communities and a stronger nation. During Hispanic Heritage Month, OMH will partner with other federal offices and stakeholders to disseminate and amplify bilingual educational messages about disease prevention and health promotion.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness.
September is National Recovery Month
Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery from substance use and mental health, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. Each September, Recovery Month works to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the emergence of a strong and proud recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible.
Preventing Suicide: Connections & Community
Suicide touches us all. Find connections and support through personal stories, creative expression, wellness activities and local resources.
Join us in-person or virtually for the Preventing Suicide: Connections & Community Forum.
Free events on September 21 and 29.
July is BIPOC Mental Health Month
Formally recognized in June 2008, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States. Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked tirelessly to shed light on the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.
National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is observed each July to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for racial and ethnic minority groups to get access to mental health and substance-use treatment services.
National Prevention Week
National Prevention Week (NPW) is a national public education platform bringing together communities and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health.
Through National Prevention Week, people become more aware and able to recognize the signs of mental health and substance use disorders. Community members learn how they can help build community, strengthen resilience, and create hope to keep those around them healthy and safe.
Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month takes place in April every year. It offers communities a chance to gain more understanding of how individuals struggle with alcohol abuse, offers advice and help for those affected, and highlights the serious health issues caused by alcohol.
In the News: Percentage of adolescents reporting drug use decreased significantly in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic endured
December 15, 2021
The percentage of adolescents reporting substance use decreased significantly in 2021, according to the latest results from the Monitoring the Future survey of substance use behaviors and related attitudes among eighth, 10th, and 12th graders in the United States. In line with continued long-term declines in the use of many illicit substances among adolescents previously reported by the Monitoring the Future survey, these findings represent the largest one-year decrease in overall illicit drug use reported since the survey began in 1975. The Monitoring the Future survey is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
U.S. Students Reporting Any Past-Year Illicit Drug Use
The 2021 survey reported significant decreases in use across many substances, including those most commonly used in adolescence – alcohol, marijuana, and vaped nicotine. The 2021 decrease in vaping for both marijuana and tobacco follows sharp increases in use between 2017 and 2019, which then leveled off in 2020. This year, the study surveyed students on their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that students across all age-groups reported moderate increases in feelings of boredom, anxiety, depression, loneliness, worry, difficulty sleeping, and other negative mental health indicators since the beginning of the pandemic.
September is National Recovery Month
Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community
Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. This observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments.
The 2021 theme, “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” reminds people in recovery and those who support them that no one is alone in the journey through recovery. Everyone's journey is different, but we are all in this together. Recovery Month will continue to educate others about substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders, the effectiveness of treatment and recovery services, and that recovery is possible. All of us, from celebrities and sports figures to our co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members, throughout our lives have experienced peaks and valleys, both big and small. But with strength, support, and hope from the people we love, we are resilient.
Meth: Don’t Buy the Lie Campaign
The “Meth: Don’t Buy the Lie” campaign is targeted to young adults who may be at risk for trying meth. The goal of the campaign is to provide the truth about meth without preaching nor invoking the reflexive opposition which comes easily to people in this age range.
National Prevention Week – May 9-15
SAMHSA's National Prevention Week (NPW) is a public education platform that promotes prevention year-round through providing ideas, capacity building, tools, and resources to help individuals and communities make substance use prevention happen every day. NPW culminates in May recognizing the important work that has been done in communities throughout the year to inspire action and prevent substance use and mental disorders.
Each year around this observance, communities and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. And this year, more people than ever before are dealing with emotional challenges associated with the pandemic and the social upheaval experienced across our country. These stressors have amplified the need for public awareness and discussion of mental health as a key component of overall health. So, in conjunction with the national “May is Mental Health Awareness Month”, Ventura County Behavioral Health has launched a new countywide campaign, “I’m Talking About My Mental Health.”
This campaign was developed with de-stigmatization as a critical goal. By showing relatable people facing relatable challenges, reaching out for help and making positive changes in their lifestyles, we make the goal of improved mental health feel approachable and achievable. By personalizing the message – talking about “my” mental health – the campaign allows viewers to see others talking about, thinking about, and working on their mental health and fitness, and demonstrates this as normal and life-affirming behavior.
There are now billboards and posters in the community, public service announcements on the radio, and colleagues inviting discussion by wearing buttons or even using the themed Zoom background.
Please take a minute to get familiar with the campaign, and join us in promoting the discussion of mental health in the weeks ahead.
I’m Talking about My Mental Health
April is Alcohol Awareness Month
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. We wanted to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol use. This is a great opportunity to have conversations about alcohol and other drugs with your kids.
Featured Partner: BRITE Connections
Expressions of Gender: Creating Safe Spaces for Youth
BRITE (Building Resilience & Inclusion Through Engagement) engages and educates Ventura County’s youth on prevention and wellness topics. BRITE Connections, a free monthly livestream series open to youth ages 14+, brings together youth and adult experts in discussion on important issues. Expressions of Gender was the first BRITE Connections livestream event of 2021 and was held on January 28th. The event featured a performance of youth poetry and music titled “Stereotypes” and an expert panel of caring adults discussing gender expression and LGBTQ+ equity in schools within a Q&A format.
The event raised awareness about the negative effects on youth who feel excluded by and unable to express their gender identity due to the traditional binary views of gender roles and stereotypes that exist at home and at school. Youth that identify within this group are at an increased risk for many negative behavioral health outcomes including depression, suicide, and drug use. The event focused discussion on ways that teachers and parents can help support youth within this group.
BRITE Connections - Expressions of Gender livestream event
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® 2021
March 22-28, 2021
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction.
Teens may be seeking coping mechanisms to handle the increased stress that has come with many changes and challenges in their daily lives. Teens also need resources to develop the necessary skills to make informed decisions about their health.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Featured Resource for Teachers: Mind Matters Series, NIDA
“Mind Matters” includes engaging printed materials designed to help students in grades 5 – 8 understand the biological effects of drug misuse on the brain and body, along with identifying how these drug-induced changes affect both behaviors and emotions.
There is no more important time to address these issues with adolescents than in the middle school years, when they are forming opinions about the health risks of drugs. These educational materials are also easy to print and use. There is an accompanying Teacher’s Guide which includes background information and activities to enhance students’ learning.
Mind Matters Series, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
REGISTER NOW! - 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference
Register for the 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference, which will be held online Thursday, December 10 at 9am.
Keynote Speaker Pablo Campos from Active Minds will share his insights about struggling with depression and addiction – and his road from attempting suicide to recovery.
SAVE THE DATE - 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference
SAVE THE DATE for the 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference, which will be held online Thursday, December 10 at 9am.
Keynote Speaker Pablo Campos from Active Minds will share his insights about struggling with depression and addiction – and his road from attempting suicide to recovery. Registration coming soon!
National Recovery Month 2020
Strong communities make for strong recovery. Community members—including families, neighbors, employers, educators, charitable organizations, and faith-based institutions—are the backbone of communities that foster recovery among its residents. Research shows that peer support services can provide a valuable approach to guide individuals as they work to maintain recovery. Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), sponsors National Recovery Month. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help.
The theme for 2020 National Recovery Month is Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.
Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery. Assistant Secretary for Mental Health andSubstance Use, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, delivers a message for the 31st anniversary of National Recovery Month. Watch the video →