UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Bruce Christiansen has debuted his online Bucket Approach training to help patients with serious or significant mental illness to quit smoking, offered with free continuing education credits. The project has also been extended for a second year to ensure it is widely adopted throughout Wisconsin. The Bucket Approach is designed to help clinicians and providers tailor the tobacco-cessation intervention to various motivational statuses of smokers coping with serious mental illness or other addictions.
The project is funded by the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Care and Treatment Services. Donna Reimer, the grant administrator, serves with Christiansen on a steering committee focusing on helping patients with behavioral health issues to quit smoking (WiNTiP).
Year 1 of the grant focused on developing the online training for professionals working at Wisconsin Community Support Programs (CSP) and Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) Systems.
CSPs work with patients with serious mental illness, typically at discrete treatment sites. CCSs generally treat patients with somewhat less serious but still significant mental illness using network models. Both types of programs are county-administered and supported by the state.
Year 2 will focus on promoting the training to behavioral health professionals, including monthly conference calls for those who take the online training. The goal is to assist with how to implement what they learned into their standard care. Christiansen will also evaluate the online training via periodic surveys.
The Bucket Approach is also offered in person by UW-CTRI’s Regional Outreach Specialists, who meet with healthcare providers across the state and offer training and technical assistance on how to best help their patients quit tobacco use. During a training in La Crosse, Christiansen spoke to Channel 8 News about the Bucket Approach.
For example, the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation invited UW-CTRI regional outreach specialists to provide the “Bucket Approach” training at their regional First Breath meetings. First Breath is a free, statewide program that helps pregnant women, new moms, and their families to quit smoking.
During seven trainings across the state, the outreach specialists have been teaching First Breath providers how to screen, advise, assess, and provide brief tailored interventions to pregnant women who smoke and have mental health challenges. The first five sessions have included role-playing exercises developed by the outreach specialists. They have been well received, said UW-CTRI Regional Outreach Specialist Allison Gorrilla. UW-CTRI Outreach Director Rob Adsit has reviewed the evaluations and quipped, “they are off-the-charts positive.”