Danielle Hunt, CEO, Pharmacist Support

Pharmacist Support charity has announced new plans to further expand its wellbeing support to ensure better mental health in pharmacy.

The announcement from the charity has come at a time when pharmacy teams have been facing immense work pressure due to rising Covid-19 cases, a nationwide third lockdown and mass vaccination drive to fight the pandemic.

Using feedback received from its recent wellbeing-focused campaign and research, Pharmacist Support aims to address some of the gaps in the support being provided as well as the issues raised around awareness, confidentiality and stigma around mental health in pharmacy.

Danielle Hunt, chief executive at Pharmacist Support, said: “Our recent research has given us a clear steer on what is needed and this has helped us shape our new five year strategy and plans for the coming year.

“There are some evident gaps in support and barriers to access that we hope to address. Over the next twelve months the charity will look to develop a clear pathway of support that includes more practical and emotional support. We also plan to enhance our volunteer schemes to ensure they reflect the diverse experiences, backgrounds and needs of the individuals within it, as well as to help us increase awareness.”

Danielle further added: “Following the success of this year’s wellbeing campaign, we are also committed to running our ACTNow campaign again in 2021 and are delighted to announce the continued involvement and support of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA).

“Without the continued support of our partners and sponsors, and in particular the PDA, vital support and activities such as our ACTNow campaign would not be possible. Their regular donations year on year give us security and allow us to plan ahead and make long term improvements to the services we provide to thousands of pharmacists and students who seek our assistance every year.”

Another strand of the charity’s work in 2021, again highlighted through the survey results, will be around workplace culture. “Working in partnership with others in the sector, the charity hopes to support a shift in attitude and has committed to work with other organisations to encourage and help progress the destigmatisation of mental health in pharmacy,” the charity has said.

Through its ACTNow campaign, and in particular the popular ‘Your Stories’ features, the charity has initiated open conversations in the sector around mental health and wellbeing.

It is their hope to continue this conversation more broadly through the introduction of new events, online workshops and through its volunteer schemes.

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