HWTFC’s first new effort seeks to reduce the harmful effects that tobacco has on adults with mental illness by providing equal access to smoke-free environments, in addition to cessation programs and increased awareness about wellness. Approximately 70% of individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) smoke cigarettes. Individuals with mental illness and addiction consume nearly half of all cigarettes purchased in the United States. Individuals with psychiatric disorders die disproportionately from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and many will likely die of medical disorders caused by smoking.
In order to address this problem, HWTFC will work with the NC Evidence Based Practices Center, part of Southern Regional AHEC, to pilot a wellness and tobacco cessation program in 8 mental health community/day treatment centers (Clubhouses). With the support of this grant, North Carolina’s Clubhouses and other similar treatment centers will have a sustainable and effective way to help their members quit smoking and adopt other healthy habits.