A Comprehensive Model for Mental Health Tobacco Recovery in New Jersey
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Despite the high prevalence of tobacco use, disproportionate tobacco consumption, and excess morbidity and mortality, smokers with mental illness have reduced access to tobacco dependence treatment across the health care spectrum. We have developed a comprehensive model for Mental Health Tobacco Recovery in New Jersey (MHTR-NJ) that has the overarching goal of improving tobacco cessation for smokers with serious mental illness. Important steps involve engaging patients, professionals and the community to increase understanding that addressing tobacco use is important. In addition to increasing demand for tobacco treatment services, we must educate mental health professionals in evidence-based treatments so that patients can seek help in their usual behavioral health care setting. Peer services that offer hope and support to smokers are essential. Each of the policy or cessation initiatives described address the two core goals of this model: to increase demand for tobacco cessation services for mentally ill smokers and to help more smokers with mental illness to quit. Each has been pilot tested for feasibility and/or effectiveness and revised with feedback from stakeholders. In this way this implementation model has brought together academics, clinicians, administrators and mental health consumers to develop tobacco programming and policy that has been tested in a real world environment and serves as a model for other states.
KeywordsTobacco Mental health Recovery
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