Several Maine behavioral health organizations were recently celebrated through the 2018 Gold Star Standards of Excellence program, sponsored by the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative. The Gold Star Standards of Excellence program celebrates the efforts of Maine behavioral health organizations addressing smoking and tobacco use on their campuses.
Evergreen Behavioral Services (EBS), based in Farmington and an affiliate of Franklin Community Health Network, was recognized for meeting the gold award level for efforts to implement policies, procedures, and treatment strategies to prohibit smoke and tobacco use on campus and address client tobacco use. EBS met all ten best-practice Gold Star standards.
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.
“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 for proactively addressing tobacco use and exposure,” said Sarah Mayberry of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence.
According to Ellen Thorne, program & planning coordinator at Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, “In my grant-funded role as a tobacco prevention partner, I worked with EBS to review its tobacco policy, determine the Gold Star standards that were met, and submitted the application verifying that all ten standards were in accordance with guidelines.”
Besides EBS, five additional organizations and one individual were recognized for their achievements in advancing campus smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles: Kennebec Behavioral Health, Alternative Services Northeast Inc., Mid Coast Hospital Addiction Resource Center, The Northern Lighthouse, Your Journey, and Cody Tompkins of The Northern Lighthouse.
For more information about the Tobacco-Free Behavioral Health initiative and Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program, please visit BreatheEasyMaine.org/BehavioralHealth.