Mid Coast Hospital’s Addiction Resource Center Recognized for Addressing Tobacco Use

The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative held the first annual Behavioral Health Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 7, to celebrate the efforts of Maine behavioral health organizations to address smoking and tobacco use on their campuses. Ten organizations from across the state and two individual champions were recognized for their achievements in advancing campus smoke- and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.

Mid Coast Hospital’s Addiction Resource Center was recognized for meeting the silver level in the inaugural 2017 Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program for efforts to prohibit smoke and tobacco use on campus and address client tobacco use. All Maine behavioral health organizations were invited and encouraged to apply for recognition; organizations that met at least six of ten Gold Star Standards were recognized with a plaque. 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 to proactively address smoking and tobacco use,” said Sarah Mayberry of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence.

The awards ceremony provided an opportunity for organizations to share successes and challenges of their efforts to create smoke- and tobacco-free campus environments and support and encourage tobacco-free lifestyles. While many acknowledged challenges faced when first adopting new campus policies and initiatives, all shared that addressing tobacco use on campus is an important health and environmental strategy for their organization.

"Mid Coast Hospital’s tobacco-free policy helps to ensure that our employees, patients, and visitors are as healthy as possible,” said Thomas Kivler, LCPC, CCS, Director of Behavioral Health at Mid Coast Hospital. "At the Addiction Resource Center, we recognize and appreciate the efforts of our patients to honor the smoke-free campus policy. We are committed to support each individual with a variety of mental health needs, and are here to support them when they are ready to quit smoking.”

For more information about the Tobacco-Free Behavioral Health initiative and Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program, please visit BreatheEasyMaine.org/BehavioralHealth.

The Breathe Easy Tobacco-Free Behavioral Health initiative at the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence is dedicated to providing Maine’s behavioral health providers with the information and resources needed to make all organizations smoke- and tobacco-free.

The program is funded by Maine Prevention Services. Maine Prevention Services is an initiative through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention working across the state to impact tobacco, substance use, and obesity.