Over the last three months I have been visiting third-sector organisations across the Lothians and Edinburgh; 39 in total. Most of these organisations would not consider themselves as primarily mental health services but as providing services in the following areas: homelessness, community health, employability, supported employment, vocational training, addictions, physical recreation, young people, learning disability, volunteering, veterans, deaf/hearing impaired, children and families, carers, domestic abuse/violence. What they have in common is significant numbers of service users who report that they have, or are, experiencing mental health problems.
It’s been a real pleasure and privilege to visit so many organisations providing vital services in or to their communities. As well as workers I have met peer mentors, volunteers and carers and they have all expressed interest in what the IMPACT Support Pack has to offer them in terms of having informed discussions with their service users about the effect of smoking on mental health.
From December a short e-learning (one hour) and a face-to-face training session (two hours) will be available to complement the information that is in the guide. Like the guide, these are free to interested organisations. If I have visited you already I will be contacting you again nearer the time about the training. If I have not been out to see you yet, please contact me here.
This website now contains some resources which you may find useful when having that conversation about smoking and mental health. If there are other resources that you feel may be of use to you, please let me know. Another excellent source of information is the ASH Scotland website. In particular I recommend the one-page “Fast Facts” which cover a large range of topics connected to tobacco, particularly its adverse effect on physical and mental health.
Mental Health Engagement Officer