In Kentucky, Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) focus on care for people living with severe mental illnesses (SMI) through the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs. ACT teams are charged by the State to provide wrap-around services for individuals with SMIs. It is estimated that 70-80% of those with SMI are tobacco users, however, tobacco use is undertreated in this population. Research has shown that few behavioral health clinicians routinely adopt tobacco treatment strategies. In our prior research among people with SMI within inpatient psychiatric settings, we found that mental health care providers lack the appropriate training and confidence in providing tobacco treatment (Okoli, Otachi & Seng, 2019). Moreover, the delivery of tobacco treatment is perceived as a non-normative behavior among these providers (Okoli, Otachi, Kaewbua, Woods, & Robertson, 2017). Enhancing evidence-based tobacco treatment in ACT programs is critical to addressing the tobacco use disparity and related burden in people with SMI.
To understand the gaps and needs for treatment in this population, we completed the administration of (1) a survey to examine ACT team providers’ intentions to provide tobacco treatment, and (2) a survey to examine ACT team consumers’ intentions to engage in tobacco treatment. The sample for this study was providers and consumers from 4 CMHCs in Kentucky.