The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is calling for all pharmacists to have equal access to a service to support their mental health and wellbeing. As a first step in its campaign RPS has today launched a survey for all pharmacists, in partnership with the charity Pharmacist Support, to identify their needs.
The results from the survey will form the basis of a report which will be presented to the Government by the end of the year.
RPS President Sandra Gidley said:
“We’ve heard from many of our members that they are experiencing pressures at work which affect their mental health and wellbeing. Many colleagues suffer stress, burnout or feel overwhelmed, yet cannot get the support they need.
“As demands on the NHS rise, so do the pressures on individuals, their morale and their health. We want equal access for all to a support service that’s funded by the NHS. As the third largest health profession, pharmacists deserve no less.
“As a first step, we want pharmacists in all settings to complete our survey so we can examine the extent of the problem. We will then develop this into a report to present to the Government by the end of the year.”
Chief Executive of Pharmacist Support Danielle Hunt commented:
“Pharmacist Support has been developing its mental health and wellbeing services for a number of years now. In 2018, the charity provided almost 5,000 wellbeing acts of support to pharmacists, trainees and MPharm students across the country through its wellbeing service.
“Having conducted our own market research earlier in the year that revealed that 71% of respondents identified mental health as a key issue affecting the sector, this survey provides us with an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the issues. The results of this research will help us shape our mental health and wellbeing support moving forward.
“Support in this area is essential to ensuring an effective and resilient workforce. Working in partnership with the RPS on this issue will, we hope, bring about positive change for all in the profession.”
All pharmacists, whether members of the RPS or not, are welcome to complete the survey, which is now open. It takes up to 15 minutes to complete.