Winning hearts and minds: smoking and mental health

28 Feb 2023
Paige Cowan-Hall

Winning hearts and minds: smoking and mental health

What is Winning Hearts and Minds:

Winning Hearts and Minds is a partnership between C3 and The Burdett Trust to address smoking in mental health units in England. People with mental health conditions are much more likely than others to be smokers. Over 40% of people with a mental health condition smoke, compared to 14%. This puts them at higher risk of heart disease. Winning Hearts and Minds worked with mental health nurses to help them support their patients to stop smoking. Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about Winning Hearts and Minds.

Access the toolkit and on-demand learning content:

We provide a suite of learning materials, within our Winning Hearts & Minds toolkit for nurses. These include on-demand webinars that provide information on cardiovascular health and mental health as well as practical tips for behaviour change.

Our findings:

  • Mental health nurses lack knowledge about the dangers of smoking, its negative impact on mental health and its contribution to developing Cardiovascular disease. Almost 50% of those nurses surveyed were not aware of the impact of smoking on mental health conditions and 10%  incorrectly believed that stopping smoking increased blood pressure.
  • Nurses must contribute to environments in which patients can thrive, which includes supporting smoking cessation as in-patients and in the community.  
  • Stop smoking services are available but access and integration must be improved to help smoking cessation continue, for example between in-patients and community settings. 

I spent five years in a secure unit where it was non-smoking, so I quit for five years only to start smoking when I got back into the community because there was no advice on staying a non-smoker and pretty much everyone in my supportive housing smoked

Recorded webinars:

After watching our seminars attendees on average recorded a better understanding of smoking-related issues. In fact, attendees of our webinars rated the quality and helpfulness of the presentations 4.7/5 and 5/5.

  • Supporting Behaviour Change  – this 25-minute webinar will provide knowledge, skills and techniques to effectively encourage and facilitate behaviour change when working with patients. The speaker is Helen Donovan, a nurse leader who has worked with the Royal College of Nursing and is the Chair of the Self-Care forum.
  • Vaping workshop: knowledge, attitudes and confidence Watch this 45-minute workshop to gain a better understanding of the role vaping can play in helping people stop smoking, with a focus on those with poor mental health. This session was run by Michaela Nuttall RGN Msc and Louise Ross.

Before the session I knew hardly anything about vaping and 45 minutes laterI had learnt so much. The things I thought I knew were vaping myths.

  • The Winning Hearts and Minds roundtable – Watch this 50-minute roundtable where expert panel members discuss how tobacco affects users’ mental health and wellbeing,  the barriers to smoking cessation and ways to support people to quit. Roundtable health professionals: Helen Donovan, Catherine Gamble, Jayen Murden, Hannah Moore, Michaela Nuttall, Debbie Robson, Louise Ross, Mary Yates.
  • Cardiovascular disease and mental health – A 30-minute webinar about the relationship between physical and mental health with Joanne Haws RN MSc.

Lively interesting talk that made cardiovascular disease easy to understand with good stuff to use everyday.