Wellbeing and Quitting Smoking: Improving Mental Health in Australia

You may equate smoking mostly with physical ailments and by that improving those conditions once quitting cigarettes. What we don't see enough of is discussions about the mental aspects of smoking and related functions with smoking cessation.

When we talk about wellbeing and quitting smoking, we seldom hear about direct mental health connections. Statistics here in Australia continually show 32% of those with mental illness smoke cigarettes. This increases exponentially to 73% when the person shows signs of psychosis or schizophrenia.

Yet, many people with mental illness try to quit smoking as much as everyone else. While they might initially turn to smoking to alleviate stress, smoking simply compounds it. For mental illness, this obviously doesn't help in sustaining mental health.

The way forward to quit is proper support and education. To find out what might trigger your smoking, download the free '13 Seldom Talked About Smoking Triggers'

Smoking Triggers


Support for Those With Mental Illness

It's always important to reiterate how you can't force anyone to quit smoking. The desire to quit might become more challenging in a mentally ill person, though proper encouragement from medical professionals or friends can help guide them in the right direction.

Creating a strong support system for mentally ill people is going to make a big difference in how successful they are. Then again, it's really no different with anyone else trying to end their smoking habit.

Recommending strategies to someone with mental illness is the best plan, and this should include leading them to various resources.

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Resource Recommendations for Quitting Smoking

Anyone with a mental illness should have someone support them in working with a health professional while attempting to quit smoking. If friends are important for their support base, having medical professionals nurture them in strategies provides the real foundation.

The medical team, family, and friends can help the person establish certain dates and other goal strategies to have something to reach toward. Nevertheless, the person should have the freedom to dictate if they want to quit gradually, or within a quicker time frame.

As friends of a person with mental illness, don't be afraid to lead them to online resources that can help in their journey. Sites like the "I Can Quit" calculator through the Australian government are good resources to help set an inspired path and a tool for Improving Mental Health in Australia.

Overall, many in the medical profession recommend using the 5 A's to create a strategy: Ask, Assess, Advise, Assist, and Arrange (for follow-ups).

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Demonstrating the Medical Benefits of Quitting Smoking

A mentally ill person might not always be able to focus on the future. Yet, showing them what their medical outcomes could become by quitting smoking may inspire them to adhere to an effective plan.

Pointing out how much of a longer life they can live (including quality of life) can do a lot in establishing the person's mindset. The financial benefits may become a strong persuader as well considering the cost of buying cigarettes in Australia is $8,000 per year.

Socialising also increases, something those with mental illness should have to keep their lives happier and more meaningful.

Quitting smoking also reduces anxiety, which is going to help those fighting mental illnesses feel calmer. In fact, anxiety is perhaps a big part of their mental illness that's long plagued them.

With less stress, it's going to mean better coping with the pressures of life. 

Contact us at Quit Stop Now to learn about how we can help all people stop smoking for good or download '13 Seldom Talked About Smoking Triggers' to discover what habits might be causing you to smoke: 

Smoking Triggers


Further Reading