LifeStream was chosen to participate in a WELLNESS AND RECOVERY LEARNING COMMUNITY for 2016 offered by the NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH.
The purpose of this learning community is to reduce tobacco use in people with addictions by assisting organizations in developing the knowledge, procedures and processes, through technical assistance and coaching, needed to implement tobacco cessation programs and establish tobacco free organizations. LifeStream was able to make a commitment to going tobacco free in all programs and on all campuses during this learning community as a result of the information and support the lead participants received.
After partnering with Florida Department of Health in Lake County and working with Debrah Walter,
Senior Health Educator for the Tobacco Prevention Program, LifeStream set a date of February 14th, 2016 to be tobacco free. This initiative was tied to Valentine’s Day with the tag line “Love Yourself Enough to Quit” which also linked with the heart health benefit of quitting tobacco use. Educational materials, signs and “Quit packs” were provided by the Health Department and clinical staff and physicians at LifeStream were given information of how to perform a brief intervention and make a referral to Tobacco free Florida. Employees and consumers of LifeStream’s many programs were involved in poster making and a valentine contest to build awareness to the new policy. A kick-off event was held on February 11th with candy and balloons at seven of LifeStream’s locations. Staff, consumers and visitors were asked to write a valentine to themselves or someone else with encouragement to quit or gratitude for being smoke free. In exchange they received a chance to win some great prizes.
Asking people not to smoke on property is only one part of the project. On-going efforts will be directed toward counseling individuals on the benefits of quitting and assisting them with evidence-based programs.