The Impact of Psychiatric Disorder Diagnosis on Motivation to Quit and Stage of Change Among Patients at a Hospital-Based Outpatient Smoking Cessation Clinic

Smoking is among the greatest international public health concerns, causing excessive levels of preventable premature death, disability, and economic costs...

Engaging clients with mental illnesses and behavioral health challenges in tobacco treatment


People living with mental illness have higher tobacco use rates and are disproportionately affected by tobacco-related illness and death. In fact, smoking is the leading cause of death in individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders. Yet smokers with mental illness have low success with traditional tobacco treatment programs. Behavioral health care providers need to be more aggressive in offering tobacco use treatment in these populations. The following video gives more background on this population and discusses how to adapt tobacco treatment programs to help those with mental disorders (about 18% of the US population). Many in this population use tobacco to affect their mood often when bored, needing to concentrate, or wanting momentary stress relief. In fact, some mental health facilities actually encourage nicotine use. But early tobacco use may actually cause psychosis or other mental illness and the tar from cigarettes can counteract the effectiveness of mental illness medication (I.e. antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, etc.). Smoking cessation could help the medications treating mental illness to be more effective. For these reasons and many more, the BH WELL team is passionate about changing the norm of nicotine addiction within mental health settings.


Video Citations

A brief discussion about the importance of African Americans taking the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating to communities of color, especially black communities. The vaccine is our best shot to defeating the virus. I encourage everyone to seriously consider taking the vaccine. Any concerns of its safety can be addressed by reviewing the CDC website or discussing the vaccine with a trusted healthcare provider. I'm Dr. Lovoria Williams and I like to BH WELL by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

If you're interested in learning more, check out our website at

Physical Fitness and Mental Wellness for the Win Transcript

Hi, my name is Beck Pennington and I was fortunate enough to play for the University of Kentucky men's tennis team at the number one singles and doubles position. Growing up I played several sports. I played football, basketball, baseball, and tennis. It wasn’t until the age of 14 that I set the other sports aside to focus on tennis. I have grown up involved in several sports and being very active and really taking a lot of time and energy into my sleep patterns and having a healthy lifestyle overall.

I'm currently the men's assistant tennis coach for the University of Miami so I love being around sports. It's been a part of my life and it still is to this day. I just wanted to tell you today how important it is for me to focus on my sleep patterns and my overall wellness and how that helped me perform well on the court at the University of Kentucky.


Having a consistent sleep pattern, I believe, is extremely important for not only an athlete, but a student, a person in a full-time job- essentially anybody. Having a solid consistent sleep pattern allows your body to rest and heal and you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. As an athlete I value sleep. As I said, it allows my body to rest and to really nourish itself and hopefully get ready for the next day. Getting at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep and getting a very consistent sleep pattern at night has been very important in my life.

Eating Well

I think the biggest thing with diet is consistency. I think having a well-balanced diet will not only impact your short-term lifestyle but your long-term lifestyle. We need to be focusing on what we're putting into our bodies. I truly believe it doesn't have a short term effect. What is it going to look like 5 to 10 years down the road and how is your body going to be using all the intake?

Physical Activity

So at the start of the pandemic, the world was essentially shutting down so I figured with all this downtime that I had it would be a phenomenal challenge for me to do a mini-marathon. I feel like I've always been in pretty good shape but what I hate the most is long-distance running. So what better way to challenge myself than to train for five weeks and then run a half marathon? The sense of accomplishment when I reached that 13.1 miles… and knew that I was done! Looking back at all the 5/6 week grind that I put in just by myself was rewarding. This kinda sparked the running bug for me because of the inner intrinsic motivation that I had, but also just feeling a sense of accomplishment. So with that being said, I believe it's important to set small goals, medium goals, and big goals. It doesn't matter how big they are, what matters is that you're setting a goal for yourself and going through the journey, grind, and commitment, and ultimately reaching your goal.


So I think the take-home today is:

  1. Having a very consistent sleep pattern is extremely important.
  2. Eating well, having a very well balanced diet. Not getting into the pantry every night getting that Twinkie, on the weekdays let's eat green beans, let's eat the hearty vegetables, let's go white chicken.
  3. Physical activity. At least getting out on the intramural fields or whatever you want to do 2 or 3 times a week.
  4. Setting small medium or large goals for yourself and keep trying to accomplish those goals. I promise it will make you feel so much better about yourself and will hopefully give you much more confidence, I know it did for me.

So I challenge you to do all of those. But that being said, what I would tell my players in the University of Miami men's tennis team right now is: the key to being successful and happy in life is having these attributes and just having a well-balanced lifestyle. I believe it will contribute to your personal and, hopefully, your professional careers. Just go out there and rock and roll.

If you're interested in learning more about BH Well and the behavioral health wellness environments for living and learning check out our website at Thanks for tuning into the BH Well Blog where behavioral health is our priority. See you next time!

Physical Well-Being Part 3: Physical Activity 

Part 3 of our Physical Well-being series is all about physical activity! 

Physical Activity 

Physical Well-Being Part 2: Fueling Your Body  

Part 2 of our Physical Well-Being Series is all about fueling your body!