Despite prior successful implementation of Taking Texas Tobacco Free (TTTF), an evidence-based tobacco-free workplace program, in local mental health authorities (LMHAs), post-implementation employee attrition necessitated continuing education on tobacco-free policies and tobacco treatment practices. Here, we report on the outcomes of a train-the-trainer program which trained "champions" to deliver tobacco cessation education at their LMHAs. Three LMHAs participated in program implementation via 10 champions, iteratively trained and coached by TTTF. Measures administered evaluated four goals: (1) increase champions' self-efficacy in delivering trainings, (2) achieve program fidelity via TTTF staff evaluation of trainer effectiveness and knowledge increases among attending employees, (3) achieve stakeholder program acceptability, and (4) achieve program adoption via an increase in follow-up trainings. Champions' self-efficacy increased throughout TTTF training. TTTF staff ratings of champion-led trainings met the targeted range for trainer effectiveness; employees had a 28.71% knowledge increase over baseline post-training (p < 0.001). Employees rated champions' training delivery "very good" to "excellent", on average; both champions and employees were, on average, "satisfied" to "extremely satisfied" with the curriculum and training received. There was an increase over baseline in trainings delivered during follow-up, and trainings increased in length and topic coverage. Ultimately, the train-the-trainer program achieved the intended goals, although not all changes were statistically significant, likely at least partially attributable to small sample sizes. Overall, these results suggest that TTTF's train-the-trainer program was successful in its delivery and intention to build capacity for the provision of in-house tobacco education trainings to behavioral health employees/providers. However, further evaluation in additional settings, with more champions, et cetera, is necessary to validate these findings, ensure their replicability, link program implementation with reduced patient tobacco use rates, and assess long-term sustainability.
Keywords: behavioral disorders; education; mental health disorders; tobacco cessation; train-the-trainer.