What is a state strategy session?

A state strategy session is a key informant meeting convened to discuss and compile evidence-based strategies and recommendations for states/communities to eliminate tobacco use and cancer-related disparities among people with mental illness and substance use disorders (behavioral health) in communities. During these meetings, a select group of partners work together to develop strategies to reduce the prevalence of smoking and nicotine dependence among behavioral health consumers and staff.  State strategy session participants reach a consensus on an over-arching, measurable goal for the reduction of tobacco use.  Additionally, meeting participants analyze gaps and barriers to achieving this goal, as well as share resources and strategies for success.  State strategy sessions conclude with the development of a concrete action plan to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce tobacco use and cancer-related disparities among persons with behavioral health conditions.

Benefits of participation

By hosting a state strategy session, states can serve as a vital resource for their peers who aim to reduce tobacco use and cancer-related disparities for those with behavioral health conditions. State strategy sessions may also be featured on the National Behavioral Health Network’s highly trafficked website, www.bhthechange.org; an example of a state strategy session success story can be found here.

States that are convening to address tobacco and cancer control among behavioral health populations may be recognized as a state strategy session. To be designated as a state strategy session, please complete the form below and submit to Margaret Jaco Manecke at BHtheChange@thenationalcouncil.org.

If states would like to request financial assistance from the National Behavioral Health Network to support a state strategy session, they must complete a funding request form and submit to Margaret Jaco Manecke at BHtheChange@thenationalcouncil.org for review and approval. NOTE: National Behavioral Health Network staff must be available to attend all in-person meetings that are being funded through this initiative. National Behavioral Health Network staff can also be available to provide in-kind support in the planning of the meeting.

Download the State Strategy Session Funding Request Form: (PDF) (Word)


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