Tennessee Awarded $3.6 Million Grant for Wellness Recovery Program

Thursday, September 30, 2010 | 04:54am
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (TDMHDD) received a grant of $3.6 million from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to address significant health disparities experienced by Tennesseans with mental illness, substance use, and co-occurring disorders. The grant, which begins October 1, 2010, will work to transform TDMHDD’s recovery service infrastructure by integrating a physical health focus into existing behavioral health recovery services.
The program will be offered in community mental health facilities throughout the state and will deliver education, motivation, support, and connections for improved health practices to a population that characteristically experiences poor physical health and rarely accesses primary care. Participants will work through a peer-led health, wellness, and chronic disease prevention and self-management program to improve their whole health and extend their lifespan. 
“On average, individuals with severe mental illnesses die 25 years earlier than the general population. A pro-active approach to improve the whole health of an individual - physical and mental - is an essential ingredient of the recovery process,” said TDMHDD Commissioner Virginia Trotter Betts. “This innovative model ensures a connection to a primary health care home while providing the skills, knowledge, and support to empower and engage participants in permanently transforming how they view and manage their own health.”
Program consumers will participate in prevention and self-management of chronic illnesses by addressing exercise, nutrition, weight and sleep management, tobacco use, and appropriate medication use. The program anticipates serving approximately 2,352 individuals over the next five years.
For more information about SAMHSA grants, please visit http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/. For additional mental health and substance abuse information please contact the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities’ Office of Communications at (615) 253-4812 or visit www.tn.gov/mental.

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