Breathe Easy, Live Well

The NC EBP Center originally piloted a three-year wellness and tobacco cessation program in North Carolina psychosocial clubhouses funded by North Carolina Health & Wellness Trust Fund. The objective of the project was to reduce the harmful effects that tobacco has on people with mental illness by providing them with equal access to a cessation program in addition to increasing their awareness about wellness. The goal was for North Carolina’s clubhouses to have a sustainable and effective way to help their members quit smoking and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The resulting program was the development of the 15 week Breathe Easy Live Well Curriculum (BELW). This program has been used across the state of North Carolina, and has started being used in other states to facilitate smoking cessation in behavioral health settings.

The main focus of this toolkit addresses overall wellness among mental health consumers, while emphasizing tobacco use. Its contents are applicable to all persons with mental illness. Persons recovering from mental illness are vulnerable to cancers and cardiovascular diseases, not just due to tobacco use, but also because the symptoms of their illnesses and the metabolic side effects of many medications compound the health risks that tobacco use exacerbates. This toolkit includes aspects of hope, self-efficacy, and physical well-being as consumers progress towards personal recovery.

This training program and workshops are designed to educate participants on how to effectively deliver tobacco BELW to persons suffering from mental illness and/or chemical dependency. It focuses on the implementation of the 15-week Breathe Easy Live Well (BELW) toolkit and how to personalize the model to accommodate various programs.  It encompasses a wellness approach to providing therapeutic treatment primarily aimed at tobacco dependence.

Click here to view The Participant Manual and The Facilitator Guide.

Contact La-Lisa Hewett-Robinson ( or 910-678-7207) to learn how Breathe Easy, Live Well (BELW) can benefit you or your organization.

Evaluation Report for Implementation of the Breathe Easy, Live Well curriculum in Group Home Settings prepared for us by the UNC School of Medicine Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program.

We also provide technical assistance, consultation and implementation of the Breathe Easy Live Well (BELW) curriculum for individuals, agencies, and systems.