A community forum on April 24 underscored the impacts of tobacco use, including vaping, and legalized marijuana on behavioral health practices.
The North Country Behavioral Health Network’s spring conference, “Beyond Opioids: Smoking, Vaping & Legalized Marijuana Impacts on the Behavioral Health Community,” brought together behavioral health professionals and other community stakeholders for the day-long discussion.
The morning sessions brought Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) Associate Will Jones, as well as Reality Check coordinators Joey Boswell and Scott Ruch. Jones’ presentation, “Between Two Extremes, The Path Forward in Marijuana Policy,” highlighted the contrast between legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, and the resulting implications in the behavioral health community.
Boswell and Ruch shared the now regionally famed “Nothing New Under the Sun” presentation, which sheds light on Big Tobacco taking aim at today’s youth via vaping companies like JUUL. The afternoon sessions included remarks from Dr. Michael T. Compton from the NYS Office of Mental Health on smoking treatment for individuals with mental health conditions, as well as a panel discussion with the following individuals: Shannon Morrison-Gaczol, Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY (Glens Falls Hospital) Program Coordinator; Andrea Deepe, CEO of Warren Washington Association for Mental Health; Elise Rock, RN, (UVM CVPH) Care Manager and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist; and Danyelle Jones, Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY (North Country Healthy Heart Network).
“The panel shared with participants the objectives of the Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY (NYS Bureau of Tobacco Control) grant program, as well as an overview of what evidence-based tobacco cessation practices look like in a behavioral health setting,” Jones said. “We concluded with a case study from Andrea Deepe, who recently successfully implemented a sustainable tobacco cessation treatment policy at Warren Washington Association for Mental Health in the hopes of encouraging other regional behavioral health systems toward implementing similar policies.”
To learn more about the Heart Network’s Health Systems for a Tobacco Free NY program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 891-5855.