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Home  »   Latest News   »   Mental Health Awareness Week: 9 – 15 May 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week: 9 – 15 May 2022

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, the PDA is taking the opportunity to call on employers to engage with members around mental health so that positive change can be achieved in the workplace.

Tue 10th May 2022 The PDA

During Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK is encouraged to focus on achieving good mental health. It’s the opportunity to have open discussions about mental health, and how it can affect an individual’s day-to-day life.

The theme of this year’s Mental Awareness Week is Loneliness, something that has had a huge impact on mental health over the last few years. Connecting with other people in the community is fundamental to protecting one’s mental health, and feeling isolated at work contributes to loneliness and has a detrimental effect on a pharmacist’s life in and out of work. As one PDA member recently said, “We can’t look after our patients if we don’t look after ourselves!”

The PDA’s recent event, ‘stress in the workplace’ was an important opportunity for members to examine how stress impacts their working lives and look at practical ways they can work with employers to improve this. Attending members talked about the stresses caused by isolation and the ways pharmacists can be isolated in the workplace. Members from various pharmacy sectors including community, primary care, and hospitals voiced their feelings of isolation around working remotely, being the sole pharmacist within their workplace, and managing large workloads alone.

One pharmacist who works from home shared how they can go weeks without speaking to colleagues, and that they had sought a part-time job in addition to their job in an NHS trust, just so that they can have personal interactions.

The PDA asks all pharmacist employers to ensure processes are in place to identify the ways that their employees can be isolated, provide support where needed, and ensure that necessary changes happen.

Pharmacists who attended the event also discussed how PDA events are a vital way for members to connect with other pharmacists and reduce feelings of isolation. Several attendees expressed their gratitude to PDA staff for providing a safe space to talk to others with similar experiences, discover that they are not alone, and hear of good practices that they can bring to their employers’ attention.

One member said, “It’s eye-opening that so many people are in the same situation. It was good that the PDA have raised the issue and are supporting members. This is appreciated. It does make you feel a bit less alone.”

The PDA recognises the importance of supporting its community of pharmacists and will continue to offer opportunities for members to come together to discuss workplace issues that matter to them.

The PDA will also continue to challenge employers to do better when it comes to looking after the mental health of their staff.

For anyone that needs urgent help, please click on the links below.

EnglandWhere to get urgent help for mental health

ScotlandMental health services at NHS 24

WalesSignposted Cymru

Northern IrelandMental health emergency – if you’re in crisis or despair

Learn more

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