More than 260 people have taken the new online Bucket Approach training for clinicians to learn how to help patients with serious or significant mental illness to quit smoking. The course, developed by UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Bruce Christiansen, offers 8.25 free continuing education credits.
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. So far, 72 of these professionals have taken the course.
Year 2 is focused on promoting the training to other health professionals. UW-CTRI Regional Outreach Specialists Allison Gorrilla, Kris Hayden, Amy Skora, and (now-retired) Roger Dier presented the Bucket Approach in person at seven half-day training sessions, reaching approximately 140 healthcare professionals who attended First Breath regional meetings across the state. First Breath is a program that focuses on helping pregnant women and new mothers to quit smoking. In addition, Gorilla recorded the presentation and First Breath has made it available online for providers.
The WiNTiP Committee continues to promote the Bucket Approach online training, sending the link to every licensed behavioral health professional in Wisconsin. Organizations such as the US Office of Smoking and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center have also shared the link to the training.