CHOICES is an exciting new consumer-driven program for smokers with mental illness in New Jersey. Our goal is to increase awareness of the importance of addressing tobacco use and to create a strong peer support network that encourages mental health consumers to make a positive healthy lifestyle change by addressing smoking and tobacco use.
CHOICES is innovative because it employs mental health consumers, called Consumer Tobacco Advocates, to deliver the vital message to smokers with mental illness that addressing tobacco is important and to motivate them to seek treatment. The Consumer Tobacco Advocates provide their peers with information about the consequences of smoking, issues regarding smoking and mental illness, and options available to make quitting easier. They visit mental health centers, self-help centers and health fairs to communicate with and educate consumers about their smoking. They also provide resources about places in New Jersey where smokers with mental illness can receive tobacco dependence treatment.
As the Consumer Tobacco Advocates increase awareness among consumers about the relationship between smoking and their overall wellness, many consumers have come to terms with their desire to quit. Their clear message about the need for tobacco-cessation services and treatments will drive public policy on this issue more than any other force.
Do you want to start feeling better? Now's the time to BECOME MOTIVATED! Learn as much as you can about tobacco misuse, take control and feel better. Are you a mental health consumer interested in learning more about quitting smoking?
You have CHOICES! We can help!
Learning About Healthy Living (LAHL)
Although tobacco use and dependence is very common among people with serious mental illness (SMI) and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, treatment options are limited, especially for lower motivated smokers who may not be ready for a “quit smoking” treatment. LAHL has been in use in mental health treatment programs in New Jersey since 2004. The LAHL treatment approach supports the current focus on wellness and recovery within the mental health field and is being used in mental health sites with great success.
The LAHL manual is now available as a publicly available resource. It is hoped that the dissemination of this valued resource will help more smokers with mental illness across the country. Click here to download LAHL.
We request that you please give us feedback about your experiences with the manual. (Feedback can be sent to Dr Jill Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org) If you plan to publish about this experience using the LAHL materials we would ask that you cite the source and contributing authors.
We hope that you will find the materials helpful in your clinical work helping smokers with serious mental illness.
Williams JM, Ziedonis DM, Speelman N, Vreeland B, Zechner M, Rahim R, O’Hea E. Learning about Healthy Living: Tobacco and You Manual. Revised June 2005. Supported by a grant from the NJ Division of Mental Health Services.