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How quitting improves mental health

There are a number of benefits for people with mental health conditions once they have quit.

Benefits of quitting for people with mental health conditions

Although the presence of mental illness can make quitting more challenging, smokers with mental health conditions are just as motivated to quit as those without a mental health condition. As well as the many benefits to physical health, the evidence is now clear that when people with mental illness quit, they are more likely to:

People with mental health conditions are as motivated to quit as the general population, and can cut down or quit successfully with the right behavioural support from a health professional, a stop smoking service or Quitline, in combination with nicotine replacement therapy products or quitting medications.

And whilst people with mental health condition may require more regular and intensive support to quit for a longer period than the general population, quitting can really make a difference to mental health recovery.

Benefits to mental health organisations

As well as the important benefits of quitting for consumers and their families, mental health organisations may benefit from:

  • Less staff time spent managing smoking related issues 
  • Less exposure to second hand smoke for staff, other clients and visitors
  • Reduced levels of aggression and critical incidents at inpatient settings
  • Less interruption in program activities
  • Supports mental health recovery principles

Thomas Embling, a forensic psychiatric hospital  in Melbourne, Victoria went smokefree in July 2015. Take a look at  what they have to say about the benefiits of going smokefree for both the organisation and their patients. 

Suggested Resources

The facts: mental health and smoking

In Australia, smoking rates for people with mental health conditions range from 25 to 50% depending on their diagnosis. One of the reasons that rates continue to remain high is that there are many myths that persist about the links between smoking and mental health. It’s important to know the facts about smoking, mental health and how to quit, so that you or your patients will have the best chance of quitting for good.

Find out more

How to embed smoking cessation support into your organisation

Embedding  smoking cessation supports into everyday care for mental health services takes a whole of organisation/service approach.

Find out more

Mental health and smoking: tools and resources

Below are tools and resources related to mental health and smoking. There is also a range of more general resources which can be ordered or downloaded to support health professionals and clients on this site.

Find out more

Supporting your patients to quit

Offering evidence-based support and treatment to your patients with mental health conditions will give them the best chance to quit smoking. Most smokers with a mental health condition want to quit, and with the right supports, can quit successfully.

Find out more

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