Oklahoma leadership academy for wellness and smoking cessation

On April 20-21, 2011, leaders and experts in public health, behavioral health and tobacco control came together to create an action plan for Oklahoma State designed to reduce smoking prevalence among Oklahomans with behavioral health disorders. The summit was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC).

Terry Cline, Ph.D., Commissioner of Health, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Oklahoma State Department of Health, welcomed the group during dinner. Cline informed participants, "You were selected to be here because you are individuals who can make a difference in Oklahoma, and I'm confident that you can make changes happen. I think we can see a decline in smoking prevalence in the next 5 or so years especially among individuals with behavioral health issues. And we'll be able to tie it back to the work in this room. This is the confidence I have about the people in this room."

The following day, Terri White, MSW, Commissioner, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, welcomed the group and noted she hoped the day would be a chance for Oklahoma to address the startling statistics that 44% of cigarettes in the US are smoked by persons with behavioral health disorders.

The partners worked to create an action plan to lower the prevalence rate in Oklahoma's behavioral health population.

The partners adopted two measures to reduce smoking prevalence among adult behavioral health consumers and reduce staff smoking prevalence by end-of-year 2015.

The summit partners identified 5 overarching strategies to reach this goal:

  • Data Development
  • Marketing: Quitlines / Social Media
  • Peer Recovery Support Services (PRSS)
  • Staff Quit
  • Provider Education

Oklahoma is the third of five states selected to hold Leadership Academies. The Academies are made possible by SAMHSA and SCLC. The goals of the Academies are to reduce smoking and nicotine addiction among behavioral health consumers and staff, to stimulate cooperation and collaboration among the fields of public health, including tobacco control and prevention, mental health, addiction treatment and prevention.