FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS)– Communities and organizations across the nation are celebrating National Prevention Week.

The purpose of National Prevention Week is to raise awareness about the importance of substance misuse prevention. The hope is to advocate for positive mental health and keep communities healthy and safe. 

One organization focusing on prevention and offering resources to those struggling is the Fayette County Health Department. 

Paula McCutcheon, a peer recovery support specialist, said having a week where everyone works together to focus on prevention is imperative to the cause.

“It’s about collaboration- it takes us all,” said McCutcheon. “It’s about community and support and raising awareness and I think that it’s just very important for us to work together to combat this.”

McCutcheon said she is grateful to directly help those in need as someone who works with the Quick Response Team. She dedicates herself everyday to furthering prevention.

“As QRT, we go out multiple times a week to respond to overdoses,” said McCutcheon. “It’s also about prevention and preventing overdoses and getting people connected to the resources that they need.” 

As a person in long-term recovery herself, McCutcheon said she also finds this week extremely important.

“I want to be someone that I needed when I was out there,” said McCutcheon. “Being that person that you needed I think is huge.”

McCutcheon added this week is also crucial since May is Mental Health Awareness Month. She encourages everyone to reach out to their local organizations if help is ever needed.