Tobacco And Mental Illness, What Can We Do And Is It Our Business?

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By May 11, 2015 No Comments

Authors: Maxie Ashton, Ann Crocker, Kate Read, Mark Weston

Year: 2000

Event: 2000 TheMHS Conference

Subject: SMOKING, book of proceedings

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: The anti-smoking campaigns of the past 20 years have been very successful in the general population but they have not been very successful for people with mental illness with many still smoking and smoking heavily. Smoking has serious consequences for people with mental illness, affecting physical and mental health, finances, social relationships, independence and involvement in community life.
The workshop will address:-
1. Why is the rate of smoking amongst people with mental illness so high,
Up to 80 % of people living with schizophrenia smoke and smoke heavily, whilst the rates are not so high for other diagnostic groups they are still concerning. Research suggests that tobacco is used as a form of self-medication, to alleviate some of the side effects of medication, as a way of coping and for social reasons.
2. The impact of smoking,
Smoking effects mental and physical health, finances, quality of life and independence.
3. What do people with mental illness tell us about tobacco,
Over 100 people with mental illness were interviewed about what they thought about smoking and mental health, this needs to drive the development of services.
4. The barriers to quitting,
There are many reasons why it is difficult for people with mental illness to quit or reduce smoking, what can be done to reduce these barriers.
5. The strategies that help people to quit or reduce smoking,
A number of programs are being developed and are proving to be effective including the involvement of Peer Workers. A range of resources are available.
6. The relevance to mental health services,
Is this our business and how can we involve Quit, tobacco control, and public and community health in working with mental health in addressing this problem?
Smoking tobacco is a serious concern for people with mental illness, and this workshop will provide participants with a greater understanding and more of the skills and resources needed to address it effectively.

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