01 Nov Vail Place Receives 2018 MACMHP Program Innovation and Community Collaboration Award
Vail Place was recently awarded the 2018 MACMHP Program Innovation and Community Collaboration Award by the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP) for our commitment to going tobacco-free in our facilities.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Prevention and Mental Health Resources nominated Vail Place along with fellow recipients Avivo and People Incorporated. All award winners completed the tobacco-free transition in collaboration with each other and the American Lung Association in Minnesota. The American Lung Association provided education, technical assistance and facilitation.
The Program Innovation and Community Collaboration Award honors organizations who develop innovative ways to promote overall health and wellness or partnerships to overcome challenges to service delivery to those with mental illness and substance use disorders.
The importance of transitioning to tobacco-free facilities and programs for an organization like Vail Place is becoming ever more clear. Tobacco use in behavioral health organizations has historically been considered a low priority and in fact, sometimes viewed as a coping mechanism. But it is the primary cause of death and disease among those with mental illness. 26 studies demonstrated improved mental health with smoking cessation and found anxiety, depression and stress were significantly decreased in those who quit smoking compared to those who did not.
People in treatment for substance use disorders who are also treated for tobacco addiction are 25% more successful in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drugs.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to the American Lung Association for their assistance and to the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs for acknowledging our efforts with this award. Congratulations to our fellow recipients, too!