Overview of the Project

IMPACT stands for Improving Mental and Physical health: Achieving Cessation Targets.  IMPACT was initially a two-year project funded by Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation. The aim was to develop and deliver guidance which encourages community based third-sector  services supporting people with mental health problems, to discuss smoking  and explore what options exist if they do want to take the next step towards quitting. We have now received a further year’s funding from the Scottish Government to engage services around using the guidance, including the provision of further information, support and training.

IMPACT Training for Trainers and Continuing Professional Development for smoking cessation practitioners have now been developed and will start delivery from November 2018.

The IMPACT Project began in May 2015 and in the first year produced a narrative review, “Smoking and mental health: a neglected epidemic”,  to provide a broad overview of the evidence relating to smoking and mental health.  Following the publication of this document the Project moved into the fieldwork phase which consisted of:

  • a series of interviews  with community based third-sector mental health organisations;
  • focus groups  with people who have lived experience of mental health issues;
  • knowledge exchange workshops  with practitioners and staff from third-sector mental health organisations.

Year two of the Project began in May 2016 with the focus on writing the guidance. A draft version was circulated to stakeholders and partners within the third-sector for feedback. These comments were incorporated to the IMPACT Guidance, which was launched in March 2017.

Alongside the development of the guidance pack, a baseline survey was carried out with staff from community-based third-sector mental health organisations to establish knowledge and confidence levels in relation to discussing smoking. This survey took place prior to the dissemination of the guidance and the exercise will be repeated approximately six months afterwards, to help establish if the guidance pack has had a positive effect on practice.

Ash Scotland Logo_Dark Background_Low ResolutionThe IMPACT Project is managed by ASH Scotland  and its first two years were overseen by a Steering Group who monitored, advised and guided the Project. The Steering Group consisted of colleagues from Glasgow Caledonian University, the UK Centre for Tobacco Control, the Scottish Mental Health Research Network, ASH Scotland and a Stop-Smoking Nurse Specialist (Mental Health).