KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– One organization in Knox County is working alongside  locally-owned businesses to promote their services in the area.

The Knox Children and Family Services Corporation is promoting awareness for “National Prevention Week,” which was started by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help educate people about substance abuse and the benefits of mental health. 

Kelsey Carr, the director of prevention and community services for the corporation, said these are issues that hit close to home.

“According to the Indiana Youth Survey, Knox County has an average rate of first use is 11 years old. That’s about fifth, sixth grade, so we have a very prominent age of first use, it’s very young,” she said.

The corporation has partnered with local schools in recent years, and hosts community events throughout the year that focus on education and prevention. This week, they are partnering with businesses to help people around the community learn more about what they provide and to help them fund those programs.  

“This week is super important to use because we’re a nonprofit company, so we really do rely on donations to help fund things like snacks for students, snacks for events that we hold, extra trainings that grants don’t cover,” she said.

One of the businesses they reached out to was Happy Hippie Reiki and Things, where co-owner Daniel Davis said he was happy to help with what he believes is an important cause.

“We want to help support anyone and everyone that’s struggling through anything. We have a lot of homeless in town, the kids in the area have been going through a lot lately, so supporting mental health is a huge area for us,” he said. 

Carr said they will have “Dine and Donate” events at two Vincennes restaurants this week. They will be at Culver’s from 5-8 on Tuesday, and Texas Roadhouse from 5-8 on Thursday. 

She hopes this can help them spread awareness and reach their goal of helping as many families as possible in the community. 

“We just want better health outcomes for people in our community, whether that’s better preventing substance abuse, preventing violence,” she said. 

A full list of organizations they are working with can be found on the corporation’s Facebook page.