Last updated: April 25, 2022
When it comes to substance abuse and mental health issues, we understand that recovery is a journey that requires time and patience. It also requires the support of the public and families & friends of those who need help.
To support behavioral health facilities and addiction treatment centers in their life-saving work, we’ve compiled a comprehensive awareness events calendar for the year.
This calendar aims to help the community to spread awareness through recognition, celebration and proactive actions. These events can serve as reference points to help you educate people about various substance abuse and mental health issues and how they can help.
Dry January encourages people to abstain from drinking. As January marks the beginning of a new year, businesses can reinforce the message of starting fresh with a healthy lifestyle.
This campaign was originally organized by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Facilities can distribute educational toolkits and other material to spread awareness about the effects of drugs and alcohol.
Encouraging kindness helps bring people together and cultivates a culture of support. Create awareness internally by practicing the power of kindness, particularly on those confronting substance abuseand mental health issues. Give patients and employees a little extra love and attention on this day. It is usually celebrated between Feb 17th and Feb 25th.
When: February 17, 2022
The US and Canada observe this week in February to raise awareness about eating disorders, which affects 9% of people worldwide. Organizers can host talks educating the public about the different types of disorders and how they can help. It’s also called NEDAwareness Week
When: February 21-27, 2022
Self-harm is performed by individuals who inflict physical pain on themselves to cope with psychological pain. Businesses can plan events during the month to educate the community or even their own employees to recognize signs of someone who may be harming themselves.
Join the conversation: #Selfharmawarenessmonth
First organized by the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition in 2021, this campaign is usually held between March 15 and March 21. Many people aren’t aware of the danger of household chemicals. Organizers can educate their communities about how inhaling chemicals can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death.
Use #NIPAW #NPPW, #PreventPoison, or #PoisonHelp on social media to join the conversation.
When: March 20-26
This day is celebrated on March 30 each year, the birthday of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, who struggled with bipolar disorder. This day aims to promote understanding, compassion, and empathy for those struggling with the disorder.
When: March 30, 2022
Sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, this campaign aims to educate people on the day-to-day effects of alcohol abuse as well how to treat it.
Learn more about Alcohol Awareness Month
Stress Awareness Month
Unmanaged stress can harm one’s psychological and physical well-being, yet it is largely neglected. Educating those around you on how to manage stress and address it when it presents itself is a great way to create comfortable conversations and awareness.
Managing stress is similar to the instructions we receive aboard an airplane about the oxygen masks. To see the greatest Improvement and progress, you must take care of yourself before taking care of others.
Learn more about Stress Awareness Month
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) hosts this campaign every year to educate people on the safe disposal of prescription and pharmaceutical drugs. It is also observed in October. Read more about this initiative here.
When: April, 30 2022
Learn more about the DEA
Held every year, and also observed in October, Mental Health Month is an opportunity to educate people about the struggles that unchecked individuals experience and how to identify those who need support. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides resources to help you plan events.
Facilities can organize events that help dispel myths around the disorder and share ways to support those coping with their identity, behavior, and mood. This condition has an impact on approximately 6% of the US population.
Mental health issues can arise as early as the age of 8. The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health provides toolkits around supporting young people’s mental health. This campaign is usually held in the second week of May.
When: May 1-7, 2022
Originally held by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this campaign educates parents and youngsters on the dangers of substance abuse. It is often held in May before the summer break, when kids may be tempted to try alcohol or drugs.
Use the hashtags #NPW2022 and #MyPreventionStory to join the conversation online.
When: May 8-14, 2022
Need some help planning your event or joining the conversation? Check out the SAMHSA Tookit for more information.
World No Tobacco Day
The World Health Organization is at the forefront of promoting no-tobacco-use policies worldwide. They also share studies on the long-term effects of tobacco substance abuse.
When: May 31, 2022
The US Department of Veterans Affairs is one of several organizations that educates people on recognizing signs of PTSD and how to help. This disorder arises from different forms of abuse or traumatic events that can affect one’s ability to live a normal life.
This campaign usually takes place in the weeks leading up to Father’s Day, although the entire month is dedicated to this awareness.
This day is observed on August 31 to remember those who lost their lives from drug overdoses. Survivors share their stories to inspire others to seek help for substance abuse. The Overdose Awareness Day website provides resources to help spread awareness within communities.
When: Aug 31, 2022
Many people suffer silently from drug and alcohol abuse, often thinking that recovery is futile. National Recovery Month is observed to help those struggling with substance abuse and to spread the message that support and assistance are available.
Many people struggle every day with chronic, debilitating pain, which can greatly affect their quality of life. Facilities can spread awareness on alternative, non-addictive treatments to help with the pain.
The American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide (AFSP) provides information and resources on spotting signs of suicidal tendencies in people. This is a preventable tragedy that can be improved if we open up to more conversations about it. It’s time to take conversations about suicide a little more serious.
When: Sept 4-10, 2022
Held as part of National Recovery Month, this day celebrates addiction professionals who work tirelessly to help those struggling with and recovering from substance abuse. Facilities are encouraged to host their own event to recognize the work you do on a daily basis.
Visit NAADAC’s website for more information.
When: September 19, 2022
Many people remain undiagnosed and untreated for depression because they’re embarrassed to seek help or don’t know where to go. Organizers can conduct talks to spread awareness on coping with depression.
Facilities can also observe National Depression Screening Day to encourage people to take private tests or use self-evaluation tools to diagnose themselves.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) promotes safe teen driving. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for those 15-19 years old. Organizers can work with the community to keep their teenage children and roads safe.
When: October 16-22, 2022
Drug-Free America and the National Family Partnership partner every year to spread messages on the consequences of drug substance abuse. This year’s theme Is Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free.
When: Oct 23-31, 2022
Learn more about Red Ribbon Week
World Mental Health Day
This event is observed on October 10th and spearheaded by the World Federation for Mental Health, which provides extensive information to help people educate themselves and others on various topics surrounding mental health.
When: October 10, 2022
This day is observed on the third Thursday of November and hosted by the American Cancer Society to help spread awareness on the effects of smoking and promote a smoke-free lifestyle. Quitting smoking isn’t easy. Taking just one day at a time is worth a lifetime of happiness and good health.
When: November 17, 2022
December is a time for festivities, which can sometimes lead to incidents of impaired driving. Spreading awareness on the consequences of impaired driving can help people keep their families and others safe during the holidays.
This awareness events calendar can help leaders, counselors, and healthcare professionals create educational and supportive spaces. Use these opportunities to encourage more people to support those who need help and foster a culture of understanding and compassion.