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TSET board approves $1.2 million grant to Department of Mental Health Services

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will get an added funding boost thanks to a 3-year grant.

The TSET Board of Directors approved a 3-year grant for up to $1.2 million for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services on Thursday.

Organizers say the money will be used to help reduce tobacco use and improve health among the Oklahomans the agency serves.

“This innovative partnership allows us to address critical mental health issues, while also reducing tobacco use among people with a mental health or substance abuse disorder,” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “We know the tobacco industry long perpetrated the myth that tobacco use helps reduce stress, or help some cope with a mental health issue or addiction — when it’s just the opposite.”

Officials say that rates of smoking are up to four time higher among people with a mental health or substance abuse disorder.

TSET and ODMHSAS have partnered since 2009 to make changes within the state’s mental health system to promote tobacco-free substance abuse treatment programs.

“This partnership benefits not only Oklahomans who seek mental health services, but the staff, providers and the families who benefit when their loved one lives a longer, healthier life,” Woods said. “As a state, we all benefit when there are fewer people using tobacco and making healthier choices.”