24.11.2020 12:34 Age: 138 days

Smoke-free staff and consumers at Bunbury Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit

Bunbury Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit staff celebrating the new smoke free atmosphere.

The Bunbury Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Bunbury Health Campus became a 100 per cent smoke-free environment on Tuesday 15 September 2020 and just two months on has shown amazing results.

Several staff members have quit smoking and they have seen an increase in consumers participating in therapy groups on the ward.

WA Country Health Service South West Mental Health Acute Psychiatric Unit Nurse Unit Manager Kairon Smith said there have been many benefits for patients, staff, visitors and the community.

“There has been a 90 per cent increase in group therapy attendance among the patients since we became smoke free,” Ms Smith said.

“People are providing positive feedback regarding the improved health environment in the courtyards because of no cigarette smoke.”

“Four staff have quit smoking and many more consumers are attending our weekly smoking cessation groups to help them to continue this healthier lifestyle following discharge.”

The PICU’s healthier change follows the lead of Bunbury Hospital’s Acute Psychiatric Unit which became a smoke free zone in April 2020, also with positive outcomes.

“All inpatient staff have received training regarding the use of nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) to support consumers with this change.”
“While they are on the ward, consumers who are smokers are provided with NRT and on discharge are given eight days of NRT to support their smoking cessation at home and in the community.”

“All consumers continue to have access to NRT and smoking cessation support services following discharge,” Ms Smith added.

The South West Community Alcohol and Drug Service visits the ward on a weekly basis to provide specialist services; and Mental Health Inpatient staff have been working alongside Community Mental Health staff, non-government service providers and local GPs to ensure there is adequate support for those wanting to reduce smoking on their return to the community.