The health impacts of tobacco use represents a leading cause of death and chronic disease among Aboriginal people. EACH's Tobacco Free Clinic provides specialist smoking cessation counselling within a mainstream community health centre and is seeking to improve assistance offered to Aboriginal people looking to reduce or quit tobacco.
Caring for Community: Being Tobacco Free is an initiative of the Tobacco Free Clinic to innovate service delivery to strengthen Aboriginal people’s engagement with smoking cessation information and supports. The initiative aims to build relationships with Aboriginal people at a local Indigenous Gathering Place and connect with a local Aboriginal Health Service in Melbourne’s east, and is exploring–as an alternative to mainstream centre-based appointments–outreach at local Aboriginal health events where community may engage in casual conversations about tobacco use with a smoking cessation counsellor.
Using the principles of co-design, concepts for delivery of tobacco-free services with community were explored with EACH's Aboriginal Health Facilitators, EACH's Aboriginal workers and community members. The purpose of this collaboration was to support development of a culturally appropriate approach to addressing health behaviour change and reducing tobacco use among Aboriginal people whist reorienting work practices to enhance engagement with community.
Initiatives piloted include: outreach services offering smoking cessation support at a local Indigenous Gathering Place; development of a relationship with a local Aboriginal Health Service; opportunities for capacity building with Aboriginal Health Facilitators and Aboriginal workers on evidence-based approaches to reducing or quitting tobacco; and, more broadly, supporting the whole of service approach at EACH of cultural awareness and culturally appropriate health care.
This presentation outlines development of the initiative, outcomes of the outreach model compared to mainstream model and how health care providers may work with Aboriginal community to explore options for addressing tobacco use. Opportunities for co-design and enhancement of cultural capability and capacity in mainstream health services to generate culturally appropriate tobacco free programs are proposed. Finally, the ways in which the Caring for Community: Being Tobacco Free outreach model has increased the number of conversations with Aboriginal people about improving health and wellness are highlighted.