The Mississippi Leadership Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation is a collaborative initiative among the fields of public health, mental health, and addictions that is focused on reducing smoking prevalence among people with mental illness or behavioral health disorders. Partners in this collaborative effort represent various state agencies as well as advocacy and community organizations committed to reducing tobacco usage among, and improving overall wellness of mental and behavioral health consumers in Mississippi.
Our Background: On May 1-2, 2013, thirty-three leaders in public health, behavioral health, and tobacco control came together for a first-ever Mississippi initiative focused on reducing smoking prevalence among people with behavioral health disorders. The summit was hosted by the Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) and the Mississippi State Department of Health Office of Tobacco Control (OTC) with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) as part of the Leadership Academies for Wellness and Smoking Cessation. Mississippi was the eighth state to hold a Leadership Academy. The purpose of the summit was to generate an action plan for Mississippi to reduce cigarette smoking among Mississippians with behavioral and mental health disorders.
Our Action Plan: To address the disparities and concerns resulting from the prevalence and burden of tobacco usage among individuals with mental and behavioral health disorders, MS Leadership Academy for Wellness and Smoking Cessation partners work to
- Increase tobacco prevention education.
- Increase awareness of existing tobacco treatment resources.
- Collect and analyze tobacco usage data from Mississippi’s mental and behavioral health consumers.
- Compile secondary tobacco usage data specific to Mississippians with mental or behavioral health disorders.
- Develop educational and informational materials targeting Mississippi’s mental and behavioral health consumers.
- Provide print, media, and electronic resources to promote tobacco prevention and treatment among Mississippians with mental or behavioral health disorders.