The Peer-Led Smoking Cessation project has pursued a partnered approach to intervention development that explored and reported on attitudes that present barriers to smoking cessation in mental health clinics as well as preferred strategies for cessation. Our consumer task force met on a weekly basis for over a year to develop and refine a peer led intervention for smoking cessation for peers with severe mental illnesses. They have shared their experiences with smoking and smoking cessation and provided us with feedback on potential interventions and methods to support peers who are trying to quit smoking. They also discussed how these interventions should be adapted to fit within their unique setting and with their unique populations.
Through this work our peers developed an intervention they titled BREATHE – Bringing Resilience and Engaging Awareness about Tobacco Habits to Everyone. The intervention is an 8-session, group-based and one-on-one coaching based intervention led by individuals (“peers” and Peer Specialists) with lived experience of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. We will pilot BREATHE in the summer of 2015. The goals of this study are to assess the fidelity of the delivery, assess preliminary effectiveness and potential mechanisms of effectiveness, and identify areas for improvement of the acceptability of the intervention.