There is extensive research demonstrating that smoking contributes to significant health, economic, and social disadvantage. However, despite thirty plus years of increases in tobacco tax levies and public health messaging around tobacco-related harm; smoking rates for people living with mental health difficulties have not been impacted in the same way it has for the general Australian population.
This study aims to examine the effectiveness of an approach that has been designed to include support factors that have been identified by people living with mental illness and within smoking cessation research literature as being instrumental in hindering success towards quitting. We are partnering with leading epidemiological researchers from the University of Western Australia to undertake this project.
The ‘Kick the Habit’ approach utilises a change management method (directly informed by consumer experiences gathered in an earlier phase of this project) to address practitioner (support worker) assumptions, attitudes, knowledge and confidence to undertake conversations with mental health consumers about their smoking behaviours. Secondly, the Kick the Habit program includes one on one coaching support with consumers who smoke to develop an individualized smoking management plan based on a person’s own goals and reasons for reducing or quitting. In addition consumers are supported to use NRT to minimise symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal and reduce contraindication of mental health symptoms.
For the research project we will be comparing results from people who have engaged in the Kick the Habit program (trial condition) as part of their support from Neami, against results from people who have received their usual support at Neami (control condition) and have not engaged in the Kick the Habit program. If you would like to know more about this project please contact Cristal Hall firstname.lastname@example.org