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Initiative tackling smoking in mental health services wins prestigious Melbourne Health award

Posted 27 Nov, 2018

Quit Victoria’s partners in the “Tackling Tobacco Program” have been awarded the Melbourne Health Supporting Great Care Award.

The NorthWestern Mental Health (NWMH) - Tackling Tobacco Implementation Group received the accolade on Friday at the annual Melbourne Health Awards for their contribution to supporting great care.

The Melbourne Health awards recognise the efforts and dedication of staff and volunteers who have a meaningful and positive impact on patients and customers.

Quit’s Community and Programs Manager Rachel Whiffen said the award reflects NWMH’s hard work.

“All of us here at Quit are so pleased that the hard work and commitment of the NWMH Tackling Tobacco team has been acknowledged.  They have worked incredibly hard to ensure every person has the opportunity to become smoke free and achieve improvements in mental, physical and financial health that quitting provides,” Ms Whiffen said.

“People living with a mental illness have a life expectancy up to 20 years less than the general population, with non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer being the main cause and smoking being a significant contributor to these poor health outcomes,” Ms Whiffen said.

To combat this, Quit partnered with NorthWestern Mental Health, Orygen Youth Health and EACH in 2016 to implement an organisational change framework, Tackling Tobacco, that helps mental health services promote a smokefree culture and embed best practice smoking cessation care into their everyday support.

In the last year alone, the Tackling Tobacco Program reached more than a 1000 people and 250 staff in mental health services.

Excitingly, Quit and its Tackling Tobacco partners have also been nominated as finalists in the Preventing Tobacco Use category at the 2018 VicHealth Awards. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 5th December.

To find out more about the initiative and the resources available, visit our Tackling Tobacco page.

Quit Victoria is a partnership between VicHealth, the State Government of Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria. For more information, visit:

NorthWestern Mental Health - Tackling Tobacco Implementation Group is part of Melbourne Health.  For more information, visit

Orygen Youth Health is part of the public mental health system in Melbourne and is closely connected with Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. For more information, visit

EACH is community based organisation. For more information, visit

Media release

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