Savuttomuuskoutsi antaa mielenterveyskuntoutujille apua tupakoinnin lopettamiseen

NEW Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 13.4.2018 10.21  Link to STM’s website 

Smoking does not bring mental health support to the mental health rehabilitator, but rather the spiral of addiction. Often outside help is needed to stop. Immediately after awakening, Heidi Järvinen would have lit the first tobacco on his balcony in the morning at half past seven.

Not anymore. Järvinen has stopped, and as a smoke-free person, he helps mental health rehabilitators to get rid of tobacco. “I have suffered from severe depression and was in the hospital. I often tried to stop smoking. I was afraid of withdrawal symptoms, but they were quite small and nicotine products were alleviated, ”says Järvinen.

In 2018, he will go to smoke-free hospitals in HUS to train staff with Deputy Department Manager Maija Niemi. They provide medical staff with information and tools to encourage patients to smoke. Treatment should highlight those who have stopped or even reduced smoking.

 “It is good to ask if a person wants to quit, because it already thinks about the matter,” says Järvinen, your smoke-free partner. Nursing staff can provide addiction tests and nicotine withdrawal products. “However, the doctor must prescribe withdrawal products, but they are an important support,” Niemi says. 

Smoking is not just a small evil!
Nursing staff may consider smoking as a minor issue when a person has many problems. “There is a mixed user with schizophrenia, hepatitis c and prison sentences. She is homeless, the children are taken care of. Then smoking may seem like a little freak, ”Niemi describes.

Heidi Järvinen (right) is a non-smoker who, together with Deputy Chief of Staff Maija Niemi, helps mental health rehabilitators to stop smoking. Initially, the twin goes through the sharing of information and tools for medical staff in the HUS area. Still, tobacco is not just a bad evil for a mental health rehabilitator, and only 70 to 80 percent of schizophrenic patients burn.

“Smoking is a major cause of mortality, and quitting support contributes to the health and well-being of patients,” Niemi says. Because of his physical illness, Järvinen suffers from severe pain. “Quitting smoking helped right away, the pains decreased and the movement became easier. I ended up in July and August, I was able to move without a roller, ”he says.

Many patients want to get rid of tobacco
Maija Niemi made a written question on smoking habits at the HUS HYKS Psychiatric Opioid Dependency Clinic. Patients have double diagnosis, drug addiction and serious mental disorder. Compared to the rest of the population, patients smoke a lot. On average, there were about 20 years of smoking. One respondent started at the age of 7! There were 48 respondents, a comprehensive sample. 

According to the nicotine addiction test, strong or very strong dependence was nearly 80%. Only four had tried to quit, but many wanted to quit smoking. “A large part of this patient group also wants to quit, and about half of them feel that they are receiving support from their close ones,” says Niemi. 

Your non-smoking education emphasizes that quitting brings a successful experience. “Some mental health rehabilitators have many addictions. If you get out of the tobacco, you get the power to get out of it, ”says Järvinen. He has not suffered from substance abuse, but he saw at a young age how smoking in some young people led to cannabis use.

Smoking does not take anxiety
According to Järvinen, many smokers have the idea that smoking is a spiritual support. According to Niemi, there are also misconceptions about the effects of smoking in the care sector. “Some people assume that patients’ aggression or anxiety will increase without tobacco, even though research suggests it is the opposite. Tobacco does not calm down, but a continuous spiral, the craving for nicotine and then relief, can increase anxiety, ”he says.

Patients in the hospital are often bored, so many people smoke a lot. According to Niemi, something must be done for boredom rather than just accepting smoking. Still, Niemi or Järvinen does not have to coercive measures to limit smoking in treatment. “If I tried to limit my smoking in the compartment, I would have missed it. It’s a different thing if you were encouraged or injected by asking to think, ”says Järvinen.

Niemi looked at cigarette-related records in a few days in the departments of the HABD clinic. There was no record of supporting the patient to reduce or stop smoking. Instead, there was a quarrel with tobacco parchment and labeling that the mother brought tobacco. Smoking is also an economic issue, and a low-income person may have to choose whether to buy food or cigarettes.

You may have to try again to quit. 
”Before smoking, I was doing my job when I had to predict that I could burn. It is now a light feeling when there is no addiction anymore, ”says Heidi Järvinen, your smoke-free dogshow. Many smokers try to stop and collapse. “I really understand people who burn. It does not go so that you just stick to yourself, ”Järvinen points out. It is meaningful to volunteer to support people to stop. “In the future, I want to meet patients directly, but it is important to work with the staff first,” says Järvinen. 

Assistant Department Assistant Niemi is a former smoker. It is important for him that the staff also strives for non-smoking. “If you whit a white coat around the corner, it hardly adds credibility,” Niemi says. 

The silent acceptance of smoking by a mental health rehabilitator is discriminatory in nature. “In other parts of society, smoking is considered to be embarrassing and obsolete. In Finland, smoking among young people has decreased for years. Why Mental Health Rehabilitation should be something of an antiquity. They also need to be hoped that smoking can be stopped, ”Niemi says. “Already, addiction itself displaces people,” says Järvinen.

Text: Tiina Torppa
Photos: Kimmo Brandt / Compic
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 13.4.2018 10.21 Link to STM 

What is it about?
Supporting smoking cessation for people with mental health and substance abuse problems is part of the government’s flagship project to promote health and well-being and reduce inequality. 
The project funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health includes 11 hospital districts, the A-Clinic Foundation, the Rehabilitation Foundation and the Mental Health Association. The project is coordinated by Filha ry. 
Read more about a project coordinated by Filha

Support for ending smoking cessation for people with mental health and substance abuse
Read more about the government’s flagship project  Promoting health and well-being and reducing inequality