Culture of Wellness Initiative
Culture of Wellness: Promoting Smoking Cessation and Wellness Initiative – NEW!
An initiative of the Vermont Department of Mental Health.
Vermont community mental health providers are challenged to provide care that addresses the mental health and overall health and wellness needs of people experiencing serious mental illness. We may ask ourselves, “Why should we focus on whole health when our expertise is in mental health?” National statistics indicate that about 50% of adults with serious mental illness are smokers, compared with 23% of the general population. People with mental health or substance use disorders experience reduced life expectancy, higher rates of disease and reduced quality of life. Specifically, smoking-related illnesses cause half of all deaths among people with serious mental illness. Recognizing the importance of addressing this need, the Vermont Department of Mental Health is partnering with the Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation (VCPI; www.vtcpi.org), and an array of partners to improve the overall health and wellness supports and services offered, including smoking intervention and cessation for people experiencing serious mental illness.
The work of this initiative will be conducted within a voluntary practice improvement framework. Due to the nationally documented vulnerability of people with serious mental illness and limited resources available, initial efforts will focus on the Community Rehabilitation and Treatment (CRT) Programs within the designated mental health system of care.
Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH)
Vermont Department of Health (VDH)
Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation (VCPI)
Vermont Care Partners (VCP)
Goals of the Initiative
Long Term Goals:
1. Reduce life expectancy gap for people living with serious mental illness by 10% in the next five years
2. Reduce chronic disease burden for people living with serious mental illness as demonstrated by a reduction of 5% in the prevalence of each of the top five chronic disease within five years.
3. Improve quality of life for people living with serious mental illness as measured by the Health Related Quality of Life Measures by 10% over the next five years.
Short Term Goals and related Interventions:
1. Raise awareness of evidence-based prevention methods to delay or prevent chronic diseases
a. Create a statewide platform for education, awareness and dialogue to promote a whole health approach to supporting Vermonters with serious mental illness
b. Identify and evaluate health and wellness activities and programs being implemented statewide with the goal of broader dissemination and replication
2. Reduce smoking prevalence by 20% by December 2017 for people living with serious mental illness
a. Assure all Designated Agencies’ electronic health records are collecting information on smoking status, history (pack years), current quantity smoked and desire to quit
b. Elevate awareness statewide around the impact of smoking on rates of morbidity, disease and quality of life for people experiencing serious mental illness
c. Improve access to health and wellness, and smoking intervention and cessation support and programs for Vermonters experiencing serious mental illness
3. Improve nutrition by increase fruit and vegetable intake to standards recommended by Centers for Disease Control and reduce salt consumption to less than 2 grams per day
a. Educate CRT participants on the benefits on eating 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetable daily ( Moore & Thompson, 2015)
b. Educate CRT participants on the benefits on eating less than 2 grams of salt daily
4. Improve time spent doing exercise
a. Educate CRT participants on the benefits of exercising at least 210 minutes (3 ½ hours) each week or 30 minutes’ daily