Authors: Andrew McKinlay, Catherine Segan, and Lisa Brophy, VIC
Event: 2014 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings 2014
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This project examined staff perspectives on Mind’s Smoke Free Environment Policy using interviews (6 managers and 5 staff groups) plus an online survey completed by 127 staff. Overall staff were very supportive of the policy and compliance was high. Policy benefits included less exposure to tobacco smoke in the workplace and opportunities to raise the issue of smoking reduction/cessation with clients and to role model non-smoking behaviour. Policy challenges included staff being unsure about whether and how to enforce the policy with clients who did not co-operate, beliefs held by some staff that smoking cessation worsens mental health, and room for more consistent offering of smoking cessation assistance. Further training and support for staff on how to implement the policy and on how to provide brief smoking reduction/cessation assistance, including tools for managing withdrawal, and reassurance that quitting improves not worsens mental health, will help address policy implementation challenges.