In partnership with the UW-Center for Tobacco, Research & Intervention (UW-CTRI), NAMI Wisconsin has been awarded a two-year, $150,000 grant to continue our work helping Community Support Program (CSP) clients to quit smoking. This grant will allow us to develop and prepare Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) to work as tobacco cessation advocates within Community Support Programs. Certified Peer Specialists are people recovering from their own mental illness who have received specific training on how to support others in their recovery. We are thrilled to continue this vital work, as we expect this project to dramatically increase the number of CSP clients who make quit attempts (as well as CSP staff who smoke).
The overall goal of this small-scale implementation project is a system policy change so that all CSP clients will have access to evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment, receive effective encouragement to make a quit attempt and get the necessary support during a quit attempt. We will take two steps to carry out this project. First, we will assign certified peers specialists to two CSPs to learn what tobacco cessation advocate roles they could play in a CSP. (Their role in the current project is strictly prescribed by the research protocol.) Second, we will develop the infrastructure necessary to permit certified peers specialists to work (and get paid) to be tobacco cessation specialists in all Wisconsin CSPs.
NAMI Wisconsin focuses on health disparities that affect people living with mental illness, including the serious health concern of smoking. People living with mental illness smoke at a much higher rate than the general public and consume in greater quantities. NAMI is working to spread awareness about health coverage options and address the issues head-on.
Funding for this project was provided by the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.