ASH Scotland has been working on a two-year project around smoking and mental health – it’s called IMPACT (Improving Mental and Physical Health: Achieving Cessation Targets) and has sought to engage with community-based mental health organisations across the Lothians. 

ASH (Action on Smoking & Health) Scotland has produced research-led evidence, conducted focus groups with people supported by services and run seminars for staff at mental health organisations, in order to better understand the issues and challenges faced by all involved in this sector.

This fieldwork has culminated in the IMPACT Guidance Pack, which was launched at an event in Edinburgh last Tuesday. Speakers at the event (below) included Support in Mind Scotland CEO Frances Simpson and Graham Morgan of HUG, who was speaking from a personal perspective. You can download or access a copy of Graham's speech by clicking the link HERE

For those who were unable to attend, a dedicated website is now available where you can read and/or download all the related documents:  www.impact.scot 

During the course of the project, ASH Scotland found that many people - those attending services and staff alike - were alarmed to learn about the specific affect that tobacco smoke (note: not the nicotine or tar produced by tobacco) has on the efficacy of specific medications commonly used within the field of mental health.  That resource is available to download directly from https://impact.scot/resources/

If you’d be interested in ASH Scotland meeting with you and/or your colleagues to discuss the Guidance more fully and how it can be used to help drive down smoking-related inequalities within mental health, please contact Linda Bates at lbates@ashscotland.org.uk or telephone 0131 220 9481.