About the Million Hearts® Initiative
Million Hearts® is a national initiative launched by HHS. It brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to prevent heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. The initiative aims to prevent heart disease and stroke by:
- Improving access to quality and effective care
- Improving the quality of care through ABCS (appropriate aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation)
- Focusing clinical attention on the prevention of heart attack and stroke
- Activating the public to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle
- Improving prescription adherence to appropriate medications
Heart Disease, Stroke, and Mental Health
All too often, people with a mental and/or substance use disorder suffer from premature morbidity and mortality as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise, and lack of primary prevention services. More than 80% of individuals with serious mental illness are overweight or obese, contributing to them dying at three times the rate of the overall population. In addition, the smoking rate among adults with a mental and/or substance use disorder is 94% higher than adults without these disorders.
SAMHSA and the Million Hearts® Initiative
SAMHSA is committed to aligning all available resources to support improved outreach and the provision of comprehensive health care to people with mental and/or substance use disorders. SAMHSA has allotted additional funding to its existing wellness initiative to broaden the reach of the Million Hearts® Initiative so that state and local organizations can increase awareness, reduce risk, improve the management of heart disease, and promote one of the eight dimensions of wellness.
Evidence-Based Treatment Protocols to Prevent High Blood Pressure
In line with the Million Hearts®, SAMHSA encourages the adoption and use of evidence-based treatment protocols for preventing high blood pressure. Such evidence-based treatment protocols are simple and can have a powerful impact on saving lives among individuals living with a mental health and/or substance use disorder. Review examples of available evidence-based blood pressure treatment protocols at HHS that peer-run and recovery community organizations, health care systems, and other practices may consider for adoption and use.