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Maine Behavioral Health Organizations Recognized for Addressing Tobacco

June 12, 2017

The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative held the first annual Behavioral Health Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 7, to celebrate the efforts of Maine behavioral health organizations that are working to address smoking and tobacco use on their campuses. Ten organizations from across the state and two individual champions were recognized for achievements in advancing their campus smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.

The 2017 Awardees include: at the Gold level, meeting all ten standards: Community Health and Counseling Services, County Behavioral Medicine, Evergreen Behavioral Health, Maine Behavioral Healthcare – Rockland, NFI North, Inc., and Tri-County Mental Health Services. Awardees at the Silver level, meeting eight or nine of the standards included: Aroostook Mental Health Center, Kennebec Behavioral Health Mid Coast Hospital Addiction Resource Center, and Paramount Behavioral Services Inc. Two Individual Gold Star champions were also recognized: Linda Christie, prevention specialist at Mid Coast Hospital and Catherine Ryder, Executive Director at Tri-County Mental Health Services.

“People living with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders are two to four times more likely to use tobacco. Tobacco-free campus policies support a healthy, smoke-free social norm for clients and employees. We applaud the efforts of our Gold Star behavioral health organizations to proactively address smoking and tobacco use,” said Sarah Mayberry of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence.

The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program recognizes behavioral health organizations for their efforts to address smoking and tobacco use on campus and incorporate tobacco treatment into treatment plans when appropriate. All Maine behavioral health organizations were encouraged to apply for recognition; participating organizations that met at least six of ten standards were recognized with a plaque. Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as a smoke and tobacco-free campus policy, annual screening for tobacco use, referral to tobacco treatment and supporting employee education related to tobacco treatment.

The Breathe Easy Tobacco-Free Behavioral Health initiative at the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence is dedicated to providing Maine’s behavioral health providers with the information and resources needed to make all organizations smoke and tobacco-free. The program is funded by Maine Prevention Services. Maine Prevention Services is an initiative through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention working across the state to impact tobacco, substance use, and obesity.

For more information about the Tobacco-Free Behavioral Health initiative and Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program, please visit https://breatheeasymaine.org/.

Media Contact:
Sarah Mayberry
Program Manager, MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence
207-662-5888 | smayberry@mainehealth.org

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