Kevin Stewart, the Scottish minister for mental wellbeing and social care, has expressed gratitude towards pharmacists across Scotland for their hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Stewart held a meeting with RPS Scotland on Wednesday (August 18) to discuss two key areas: how Scottish pharmacy teams could do more to support people with their mental health, and the support pharmacists themselves need for their own wellbeing and mental health.

Clare Morrison, RPS Director for Scotland, said: “We were delighted to have such a positive discussion with the Minister about pharmacy. It was really encouraging to hear how the Scottish Government is planning to progress some of our mental health policy asks including looking at the possibility of more specialist mental health pharmacists, how pharmacists can support patients who take medicines for mental health more, and mental health first aid training for pharmacy teams.”

Other topics discussed during the meeting included pharmacists’ wellbeing and concerns about pharmacists not accessing the services that area available in Scotland, including those available to all pharmacists via the National Wellbeing Hub.

In June-end, the Scottish government had announced an £8 million package to support the wellbeing of health and social care staff across Scotland.

The priority areas for action included the development of the National Wellbeing Hub, National Wellbeing Helpline, and psychological interventions and therapies for staff.

The minister and RPS agreed to take some steps to break down some of the potential barriers that have prevented pharmacists using wellbeing services.

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