Well because of the HUD smoke-free
housing rule, residents are just able to
live healthier lives and we were able to
create that environment for them.
Smoking is just one more barrier in the road to
recovery of learning how to cope with
a mental illness. So if you feel like
if we can if we can get them to quit
smoking that is a huge thing for them
and their goal to recover or to learn
coping skills to battle their mental
If we’re to separate the population of
people with mental illness versus the
general population, we have found that
75% of people in the population of
mental illness have used tobacco or
currently using tobacco versus the
general population which that ranges
Because of that, there is this
increased risk of those individuals dying
25 years earlier than the regular population.
People with mental illness tend to use
‘I’m smoking a lot’ to self-medicate
symptoms, where there is anxiety,
depression or hallucinations. A lot of
this population has to use tobacco as a
way to treat some of their symptoms.
A lot of the people that I work with have
a interest in quitting smoking.
My most recent case, it was a younger guy, you
know, but he was just he was mostly tired
of how smoking was affecting his
finances. He was a person of low income
and really wanted to get out and live on
his own but guided him through you know
that typical quit process and he was
able. He’s been smoke-free enough for
four months. He’s been working really
hard. I know he’s living on his own.
Although the work is challenging,
it’s definitely rewarding. When you are
able to assist someone who has been
smoking for years and this has been
their way of life and you know they felt
as though they couldn’t live any other
way and when they’re able to actually be
successful in that, it’s definitely rewarding.
Our goal for the smoke-free
housing rule was to improve the health
of all residents, including those with
mental health conditions.
Partnering with the American Lung Association moving
forward it really helps the Mental Health
Association because it gives us the
assets and the tools. It gives us more
resources to reach a wider range of
people to help them combat and quit
smoking altogether. And in the end it’s
healthier for everyone.