Skip to main content

Experts by experience

Engaging with people who have lived experience of mental health problems in the design and implementation of mental health services has been shown to empower service users, increase the quality of services and improve clinical outcomes.

The Mental Health and Smoking Partnership recommends that service users are consulted in the design, delivery and evaluation of tobacco dependence treatment services in mental healthcare settings.

This page links to videos and resources which are intended to:

  • Reflect the lived experiences of smokers with mental health conditions.
  • Support the development of policies and practices that are informed by service user experiences.

Useful resources

Stories from smokers with mental health conditions (2020)

ASH together with the University of Bath and the University of York have produced five inspiring videos showing the journey of smokers with mental health conditions who’ve successfully quit, and call on health professionals to do more to help others do the same.

Caroline’s story

“I remember saying to my psychiatrist that I wanted to quit smoking… I was constantly smoking as there was nothing else to do. He said, ‘let’s just do one thing at a time’. So, let’s get my mental health under control and then look at quitting smoking. That for me was the green light to keep on smoking.”​

Hameed’s story

“The mental health system fails in the sense that it tries to deal with one issue as the main one. A more holistic approach needs to be taken because sometimes everything is interconnected. I was being helped with my mental wellbeing but was still chain smoking, so I felt more depressed and got more unwell. I think the services have to work together in more of a joint approach.”

El’s story

“I was quite pleased with myself, I do quite a lot to stay on top of my various eating problems and getting so easily stressed about stuff so I was generally feeling a sense of manageability in my life. I really didn’t think that being able to give up smoking would add to that but it did actually.”

Paul’s story

“Even though my health problems aren’t all gone, I’ve got a few to contend with, [quitting smoking] is one thing that I made an effort with and I succeeded. So I feel good about it.”

Julian’s story

“I was made to feel really quite positive about giving up smoking. I felt quite elated that I managed it and also felt that I had that extra time and money to myself where previously I was wasting my time smoking.”