Whole Health Innovation

In partnership with the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC), the Behavioral Health and Wellness Program (BHWP) launched a new innovative project—sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)—in July 2020. The Whole Health Innovation in a Time of Uncertainty project is focused on reinvigorating whole health programming, including nicotine-free environments. To accomplish this goal, the Whole Health Innovation project will initially conduct an environmental scan of current nicotine/tobacco-free policies among Colorado’s 19 principal behavioral health entities to establish a baseline snapshot. This information will be combined with input and feedback from Colorado’s behavioral health entities, along with a review of existing national nicotine/tobacco-free policies and key informant interviews, to create a model nicotine-free policy for dissemination across Colorado. We will also be offering training opportunities to participating organizations to empower them to effectively refine and/or implement their nicotine-free policies and to strengthen whole health programming.

This project is of critical importance during this unprecedented time. As many providers are currently working offsite, now is an ideal time to consider agencies’ campuses and grounds, as well as offsite policies. For instance, in navigating the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, all agencies must consider how to integrate telehealth services into nicotine-free policy language. They may also need to analyze how ever-emerging electronic nicotine devices and marijuana are addressed. The project will reorient agencies to the latest evidence-base regarding the foundation for nicotine-free policies and offer unique considerations for navigating the challenges presented by the pandemic. Ultimately, the project intends to prepare behavioral health entities across Colorado to effectively offer whole health care to their clients and to assure that Colorado remains a national leader in this field.

The first year of the project culminated in the creation and release of a model nicotine-free policy (NFP) for use at a diverse range of healthcare and behavioral health agencies across Colorado and nationwide. The model NFP was released in June 2021 and is free to download.

For more information about the Whole Health Innovation in a Time of Uncertainty project, please contact Derek Noland of BHWP: [email protected] or 303-724-3714.

Whole Health Innovation in a Time of Uncertainty

Kick-Off Webinar
Time to Retool: Revisiting Tobacco-Free Policies

Presented on August 13, 2020

This webinar served to kick-off the Whole Health Innovation in a Time of Uncertainty project and was recorded live on August 13, 2020. The webinar began our discussion around creating, promoting, implementing, and refining nicotine-free policies, while presenting the scope and rationale of the project and the potential BHWP training opportunities. Whether your agency is new to such policies, or reviewing a long-established policy, this webinar was designed to be salient to your needs. Additionally, this webinar began our consideration of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic nicotine devices, marijuana, and telehealth services, within an effective nicotine-free policy.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Overview the new Whole Health in a Time of Uncertainty project.
  • Examine the evidence-base and best practices for effective tobacco/nicotine-free policies.
  • Introduce training opportunities and a statewide policy survey.

Webinar #2
The Future of Tobacco Treatment

Presented on February 3, 2021

This is the second webinar in the Whole Health in a Time of Uncertainty series intended to reinvigorate whole health programming, including tobacco-free environments and tobacco treatment. We will discuss recent developments that are currently impacting tobacco use and treatment, including the rise of electronic nicotine devices (vaping), increases in marijuana and opiate use, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to these challenges, cotreatment models for concurrently treating tobacco and other substance use disorders, whole health initiatives, and the health neighborhood model will be explored. This forward-looking webinar will help providers and agencies to meet rapidly evolving challenges in treating tobacco in behavioral health and integrated care settings.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Examine the present, evolving landscape of tobacco treatment.
  • Discuss the value of cotreatment models and their growing impact in substance use disorder treatment.
  • Consider emerging developments that are impacting tobacco use treatment strategies.

Webinar #3
Model Nicotine-Free Policy

Presented on June 22, 2021

This is the third webinar in the Whole Health in a Time of Uncertainty series intended to reinvigorate wellness programming, including tobacco-free environments and tobacco treatment. BHWP will unveil an updated model nicotine-free policy (NFP), created for use across outpatient, inpatient, and residential behavioral health settings nationwide. The rational and need for the model NFP will be discussed, alongside the process used to create it. We will overview key NFP components and highlight new features and additions. Finally, we will explain how the model NFP has been created in a manner to maximize its applicability across behavioral health and integrated care settings.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Understand the rationale, purpose, and process that drove the creation of the model nicotine-free policy.
  • Discuss the components of the model nicotine-free policy, highlighting critical updates.
  • Explain the utility of the model nicotine-free policy across diverse behavioral health treatment settings.