Association of Mental Health Providers

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Call for evidence: Helping People with Severe Mental Illness to Stop Smoking

The Mental Health Consortium (Association of Mental Health Providers, Centre for Mental Health, and Rethink Mental Illness) with Health and Wellbeing Alliance partners Friends, Families and Travellers, Men’s Health Forum, the National LGB&T Partnership and Race Equality Foundation, have been commissioned to investigate how to best support people severely affected by mental illness to stop smoking.

The project, which is funded by the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, will report on current and emerging positive practice, and it will make recommendations about interventions that show promise in reducing the physical health inequalities faced by people with severe mental illness , such as preventable conditions like cardiovascular, respiratory and some cancer by way of example. (By severe mental illness, we mean psychological problems that are often severe enough to seriously limit someone’s ability to work and to do day-to-day activities. Diagnoses include, but are not limited to, enduring psychotic disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders and anxiety disorders).

We are now seeking evidence from people and organisations from all sectors who are willing to share their knowledge, experience and understanding. We are interested in all kinds of work in this area, especially:

  1. first person accounts about help to stop smoking for people with severe mental illness both from people with experience of SMI and working with this issue; and
  2. strategies and interventions that have been put into practice, with or without success.

All submissions will be gratefully received and will help to inform this project’s recommendations.

Key areas of interest

  • What strategies and interventions have been tried already?

We would like to hear about any schemes for helping people stop smoking that have been developed for people with severe and enduring mental illness, especially those that have been put into practice. These could be based in the community, voluntary sector, local authority or the NHS. What was the thinking behind them? What difficulties did they run into, if any? What were the outcomes?

  • What experiences have people with severe and enduring mental illness had with interventions to help them stop smoking?

We would like to hear about what people with severe mental illness want from schemes for stopping smoking. Have they experienced any particularly good or bad interventions? Do they have additional needs that aren’t being met by mainstream services? What have they, or would they, find most helpful?

  • What additional barriers do people with severe and enduring mental illness encounter when stopping smoking?

We would like to hear about challenges faced by people on account of their mental health when it comes to stopping smoking. How do severe and enduring mental illnesses affect someone’s ability to stop smoking? Do people with severe mental illness experience additional problems accessing and adhering to the services?

How to send us evidence

We welcome evidence in a range of formats. Written submissions should be no more than 3,000 words in total and can be accompanied by any supporting data, documents, web links or videos.

The deadline for submission is 13th January 2019

Please send evidence to

Please ensure you give us your name, organisation (if relevant) and contact details, indicating if you would like us to treat your evidence anonymously.

Any questions?

If you would like to know more about this project, please get in touch with Emma Bailey at or Dania Hanif at