Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year from Spectrum ArtWorks - Looking Forward to a Tobacco-Free Environment!

People living with mental illness and chemical addiction face numerous disparities and inequities, many of which have serious consequences for their overall health and wellbeing. The CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, "despite overall declines in smoking, more people with mental illness smoke than people without mental illness. Because many people with mental illness smoke, many of them will get sick and die early from smoking." At RESOURCE, we recognize this issue and that we need to be a part of solutions and supports that promote success and wellness for the people we serve.

RESOURCE is working hard at incorporating best practices so that we can move forward with our goals of creating tobacco-free environments for clients and staff. We also aim to inspire within our communities healthy eating and physical activity, all to encourage that we can all live long, healthy lives.

To contribute to this conversation, Spectrum ArtWorks, a program of RESOURCE, presented The Big Picture in early 2016, a group exhibition from the Core Group, that explored wellness in recovery. Three artists from this show, through art, spoke about the impact tobacco has had on their lives. We are very proud that the American Lung Association sponsored The Big Picture and the Solar Arts Building hosted the exhibition.

One of our next projects in 2016 was to widen this conversation with a poster contest, sponsored by QUITPLAN. For our first I'M WORTH IT poster contest, Spectrum ArtWorks received over twenty submissions from RESOURCE Chemical and Mental Health clients! Every submission offered a unique and compelling perspective on living a tobacco-free life. Cash prizes went to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place awards and the Creative Vision Award winners received art supplies. Between two pop-up voting sessions, Spectrum ArtWorks recruited over 200 people to vote for their favorite posters! The poster contest not only produced special re-prints of the winning posters, but we also created a unique 2017 calendar featuring over ten poster submissions from the contest. This calendar is free to clients of RESOURCE seeking support and a network to quit smoking.

Our next step in this work is supporting the Lighthouse, where Spectrum ArtWorks is located, as the building goes tobacco-free on January 3rd, 2017.

By eliminating tobacco use at the Lighthouse, we are providing a healthy work environment for our employees, a healthy environment of care for our members and families, and we are contributing to reducing the impact smoking has on those with serious mental illness and substance use disorders.

RESOURCE'S work in the area of smoking cessation began more than 5 years ago when, in response to wellness programming being developed, Community Support Program clients began asking us for help to quit smoking. This lead us to a research project with the University of Minnesota where we learned from our clients that they are motivated to quit but lack confidence, support and information. From there we have developed partnerships with the American Lung Association and ClearWay Minnesota. We have seen both clients and staff be successful in living tobacco free. The staff and clients at the Lighthouse are pioneers in our effort to go Tobacco-free at RESOURCE.

We look forward to your support as the Lighthouse makes this leap forward in the new year! Together, we are creating healthier environments and contributing to the overall wellness for our visitors, members, and staff.

If you are thinking about quitting, please access QUITPLAN for resources:

1-888-354-PLAN or

You can also access Freedom from Smoking Online:

Below are the top winning posters from the I'M WORTH IT Poster Contest:

Heather Spielman
Sensing Life Again
Mixed Media on Paper
1st Prize, 2nd Place Audience Award
 I'M WORTH IT Poster Contest (2016)

Ruth Lais
I'm Worth It
Mixed Media on Paper
2nd Place, Creative Vision Award
I'M WORTH IT Poster Contest (2016)

Benefits of Non-Smoking
Mixed Media on Paper
3rd Place, 4th Place Audience Award
I'M WORTH IT Poster Contest (2016)