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Our lives, our health, our future

Everyone plays a role in prevention. National Prevention Week is May 18 - 24, an annual observance to public awareness of, and action around substance abuse and mental health issues.

Did you know?

• Smoking is the nation's largest preventable cause of disease and death.

• Research shows the brain continues developing through adolescence until approximately age 25. The adolescent brain is vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol; consumption during critical periods may cause impairments to brain functions, such as learning and memory.

• In a given year, the percentage of young people age 25 and under with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders is estimated to be between 14 percent and 20 percent.

Health4life is a collaboration of the Cass, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena Public Health Agencies that promotes, maintains, and improves health for life. Health4Life supports local schools, colleges, clinics, hospitals, businesses, and community-based groups in creating sustainable solutions. With a goal to prevent chronic diseases, Health4Life works with community partners to decrease tobacco exposure, increase physical activity and healthy eating opportunities, and improve health care preventative services in the community. Check Health4Life out on Facebook for more information.

The Chemical Health Awareness and Multi-Drug Prevention Coalition — CHAMP is collaboration of multiple sectors of community in Wadena County that works to improve and enhance the health, safety and quality of life for our children and community by reducing substance use and abuse. The coalition has established strong collaborative relationships between schools, city and county governments and community based organizations. Collaboration has fostered the sharing of resources, information dissemination and established programs to prevent substance use and successful implementation of substance use prevention curriculum in all public schools in Wadena County. For more information go to

There are many simple ways for parents and communities to prevent substance use and promote mental health. It's important for parents, educators, and community leaders in to learn about the risk and protective factors that affect healthy development. Equally important is having open conversations, especially with youth and young adults, about substance use and mental health. Everyone can make a difference. To learn more about local efforts by Health4Life and the CHAMP Coalition contact Wadena County Public Health at (218) 631-7629.