Smokefree Skills: Community Mental Health


ASH analysis, based on a survey of mental health professionals (nurses and psychiatrists) working in the community, found that there is low awareness of very brief advice (VBA) among mental health nurses and psychiatrists; that prescribing medications for smoking cessation is not common practice amongst community mental health professional; and that a substantial proportion of nurses and psychiatrists reported they had not had any training in smoking cessation.

However, 88% of mental health nurses and 85% of psychiatrists who responded said that they both asked and recorded clients’ smoking status in line with the first step of the VBA model.

Although these results are only indicative, they reveal a shortage of support to quit smoking for people with mental health conditions. Our report includes recommendations for both NHS trusts and local authorities to improve their performance in this area.

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