Viewpoints by GRAAB next week
by Special to the Banner
May 10, 2013 | 634 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The GRAAB Coalition (Going Respectfully Against Addictive Behaviors) is preparing for a series of events in recognition, and in support of, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Prevention Week.

Included in the weeklong observance, which kicks off Sunday and will continue through Friday, May 17, will be a series of guest “Viewpoint” opinion pieces submitted by GRAAB Executive Director Tanya Southerland and published on the Editorial Page of the Cleveland Daily Banner. For these six days, the guest “Viewpoint” submissions will replace the Banner’s traditional in-house editorials.

Announcement of the partnership is made today by Southerland, and by Stephen Crass, publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner.

National Prevention Week is a SAMHSA-supported annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues, Southerland explained.

“This observance is an opportunity to join with other communities across the country to promote prevention efforts, educate others about behavioral health issues, and create and strengthen community partnerships,” the GRAAB Coalition leader cited.

National Prevention Week 2013 will take place May 12-17.

Southerland explained, “This year's theme — ‘Your voice. Your choice. Make a difference.’ — emphasizes that the prevention of substance abuse and promotion of mental health starts with the choices each of us makes in our own life. Through our choices, we can set an example of health and well-being for others, for future generations. With our voices — whether spoken or written — we can raise awareness of behavioral health issues and help create healthier and safer communities.:

Topics for the coming “Viewpoint” series will include:

n Sunday, May 12: “Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use”;

n Monday, May 13: “Prevention of Underage Drinking”;

n Tuesday, May 14: “Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use”;

n Wednesday, May 15: “Prevention of Alcohol Abuse”;

n Thursday, May 16: “Suicide Prevention”; and

n Friday, May 17: “Promotion of Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Well-Being.”

In addition to the “Viewpoint” opinion pieces published in the Banner, the GRAAB Coalition will sponsor a variety of activities next week in conjunction with the weeklong observance.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, GRAAB will host a booth at the Cleveland Family YMCA, the latter of which has served as a longtime “partner in prevention” with the GRAAB Coalition. The booth will showcase educational information on various substances of abuse. On Thursday, the GRAAB office will be open so members of the community can stop by for a visit and pick up pamphlets or brochures on the topics of substance abuse.

“The mission of the GRAAB Coalition is to bring together concerned members and service providers of the community to facilitate lowering the misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, as well as other addictive behaviors in Bradley County, by providing effective education, recovery and support for youth, families and the community,” Southerland said.

For more information on this topic, GRAAB programming or volunteer opportunities available from the GRAAB Coalition, contact the nonprofit organization at 423-472-5800 or Regular updates are provided on the GRAAB Coalition’s website at