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The Partnership:
Mobilizing for Change

The National Mental Health Partnership for Wellness and Smoking Cessation


An Initial Partnership

On March 22-23, 2007, in Lansdowne, Virginia, the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) hosted a National Summit on Smoking Cessation and Wellness to focus attention on mental health consumers and staff. The purpose of the summit was to convene leaders from national mental health advocacy, governmental, consumer and provider organizations, along with smoking cessation experts, to discuss key issues and opportunities for smoking cessation and wellness in the mental health community. The group developed a mission statement: We the undersigned resolve to bring forth and lead a national partnership campaign to make health and wellness a priority for people with mental illnesses and for the providers who serve them. As a first and immediate focus, we commit ourselves to addressing the serious consequences of smoking and to emphasizing smoking cessation in all mental health service delivery settings.

At the end of the session the group created an action plan and agreed to continue its efforts as a team. Various member organizations received small grants to survey their membership regarding smoking cessation attitudes and practices and sponsored cessation presentations and events at annual conferences. Since then, more partners have joined and the effort has broadened to include more champions from behavioral health organizations. The presence of the Center for Mental Health Services at the initial summit opened the door for a broader SCLC partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that has led to the creation of an initiative known as the 100 Pioneers campaign. This new effort is beginning to mobilize behavioral health providers and advocates who are SAMHSA grantees to foster smoking cessation activities in their own settings.

The Partnership members include leaders from American Legacy Foundation, American Pychiatric Nurses Association, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Behavioral Health Policy Collaborative, Campaign for Mental Health Reform, California Smokers’ Helpline, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Mental Health America, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, National Alliance for Mental Illness, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, National Association of Social Workers, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), NASMHPD National Research Institute, Inc., National Council of Community Behavioral Healthcare, National Empowerment Center, Ohio Department of Mental Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services, University of Colorado, Denver, University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, Tobacco Cessation Leadership Network, and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, which underwrote the event.

The SCLC is a committed member of the National Mental Health Partnership on Wellness and Smoking Cessation and looks forward to the work ahead. Please visit our behavioral health resource page for valuable tools. For more information on The Partnership or other SCLC projects, please contact Catherine Saucedo at 415.502.4175 or e-mail csaucedo@medicine.ucsf.edu.