Kansas Health Foundation Awards $1.4 Million to Discourage Tobacco Use

The Wichita-based Kansas Health Foundation has announced grants totaling $1.4 million to organizations working to discourage tobacco use and increase coverage for tobacco-dependence treatment benefits.

Grants ranging from $115,000 to $300,000 were awarded to seven organizations through the foundation's Tobacco Treatment and Recovery in Behavioral Health program, which aims to reduce tobacco use among individuals with serious mental illness. Recipients include the Central Kansas Foundation, a substance abuse treatment facility that will use the funds to implement a tobacco-free facility policy and fully integrate use dependence treatment into its services; Episcopal Social Services, which will receive $203,763 to partner with Inter-Faith Ministries to make each of its campuses tobacco free, train staff in best tobacco-prevention practices, and provide cessation counseling to consumers; and the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, which was awarded $192,665 for a program designed to reduce tobacco use among individuals with a serious mental illness who receive MHA services.

"This population is significantly more likely to smoke," said Jeff Willett, KHF vice president for programs and policy. "And this high rate of use contributes to the fact that individuals with a serious mental health condition are dying twenty-five years earlier than other Kansans."

For a complete list of behavioral health grantees, see the KHF website.