Pharmacists are now relying on their personal experience in the absence of formal training, to support patients with self-harm and suicide. Photo: iStock

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) has rolled out a first of its kind training video for community pharmacists on suicide prevention.

The move follows recent research which suggested more evidence-informed training and clear referral pathways for an effective pharmacist-patient relation to prevent self-harm and suicides.

The research, published in the PLOS ONE journal and funded by the National Institute for Health Research Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, looked at the current and potential contributions of community pharmacy teams to self-harm and suicide prevention.

The research team, led by Dr Hayley Gorton whilst at The University of Manchester, has conducted interviews with 25 community pharmacy staff and identified six key themes, including relationship with patient and suitable pharmacy environment, as the basis for interacting about suicide.

The researchers found pharmacists are now relying on their personal experience in the absence of formal training, to support patients with self-harm and suicide.

“It is heartening to see that pharmacists and their teams recognise that they can contribute to the suicide prevention agenda and welcome training to support them to do so,” said Dr Gorton, who worked with the CPPE to make the training a reality.

The Greater Manchester PSTRC also launched a campaign titled #seedofhope in connection with the World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

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