Authors: Jacqui Anketell and Elise Tomkins, NSW
Event: 2012 TheMHS Conference
Subject: AUTONOMY, EMPOWERMENT, Improving physical health
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Government legislative changes resulted in Hospitals in NSW introducing smoke free areas on hospital grounds. New Horizons saw this as an opportunity to support people to reduce smoking while living in the community. Nicotine and many of the 4,000 chemicals contained in tobacco smoke interact with neuro transmitters which can affect mental health symptoms and vulnerabilities which serves to demonstrate why so many people with mental illness are addicted to tobacco (Lawerence, Mitrou and Zubrick, 2009). This also explains why people who experience mental illness can present as resistant to tobacco control initiatives and may therefore benefit from an approach which targets reduction as apposed to cessation in a safe and non-confronting environment. The previous two points of concern inspired the search for funding a smoking reduction program that was holistic and supportive for clients. The smoking reduction program was a joint initiative that emerged from a successful grant application to the Mental Health Coordinating Council and the contribution of funds from New Horizons Enterprises Limited and On Track Community Programs.