For those living with a serious mental illness, it is physical illness that is largely responsible for the high rates of premature mortality among this population (De Hert et al., 2011). People with mental and/or substance use disorders smoke at rates 70% higher
than most Americans, resulting in as many as 200,000 deaths per year among this group (CDC, 2013). People with serious mental and/or substance use disorders are 25 to 40 percent more likely to die from heart disease than the general population (Kilbourne et
al., 2009); and twice as likely to be overweight or obese (Daumit et al., 2013), adding to a greater risk for diabetes, and high blood pressure. The holistic wellness of those with mental and/or substance use disorders is critically important to people living
long, full, healthy, productive lives.
The goal of The Recognition of Excellence is to identify and showcase innovative programs and practices that put the concept of wellness into action. Recognized programs will be those that:
- Create meaningful improvements in the lives of people in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders
- Effectively work to address the increased rates of chronic illness and premature death experienced by this population
SAMHSA's Program to Achieve Wellness is inviting applications from programs that have demonstrated exceptional achievements in integrating
effective wellness practices into services for people in recovery from behavioral health disorders. Three programs will be selected and highlighted as models that other communities can adopt and implement.
This recognition will allow SAMHSA's Program to Achieve Wellness, and the selected programs, to share comprehensive, effective, and outstanding program and practice strategies and designs with the behavioral health field, public health field, and general public.
A webinar will announce the selected programs, providing an opportunity for viewers to learn more about the innovative approaches, as well as how to replicate their strategies. The importance of wellness, and the need to address health disparities and the
mortality gap, will be illuminated through Recognition of Excellence in Wellness.
To learn more about the 2016 Recognition of Excellence in Wellness, download the call for applications or visit the Program to Achieve Wellness webpage. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like any additional information, contact Crystal L. Brandow, Coordinator for the Program to Achieve Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the Program to Achieve Wellness at 1-800-850-2523. The application deadline is Wednesday, July 6, 2016.