The need to seek help

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Pharmacist Curtis Ruhnau talks about why you should join our webinar on mental health in the pharmacy profession

To coincide with Mental Health Week (10-18 Oct), the AJP and Pharmacist’s Support Service (PSS) are pleased to host this exclusive webinar event to address the mental wellbeing of the pharmacy profession.

Joining us for the discussion are Kate Carnell AO – former ACT Chief Minister and ACT Pharmacy Guild president and a Beyond Blue Ambassador, and Curtis Ruhnau – community pharmacy owner and practising pharmacist, PDL Director, PSS Board Member and Mental Health First Aider

Curtis says discussing the topic of mental health issues and support is important for pharmacists, saying it “gives us permission to feel bad and seek advice and support.”

We pharmacists don’t always understand that it’s OK to seek help, that there are times in our lives when the situation becomes overwhelming, and feeling bad is a response to that. And that’s it’s OK to feel bad and to then seek support and advice.”

Some experiences in 2020 have driven home to Curtis the importance of seeking help and support for dealing with mental health concerns.

“This year I’ve needed to seek some professional help to cope with everything 2020 has thrown our way,” he says.

“The tools I have had in my Mental Health Toolkit simply weren’t getting the job done for me and the realisation came at a time when something went wrong in the pharmacy and my reaction to it was out of proportion to the seriousness of the situation.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a serious problem, but I couldn’t sleep properly, I was running over and over the situation in my head and could feel myself spiralling.

It’s a hard thing to admit, especially to an audience of peers, colleagues and friends but I knew that I needed to speak to someone to get a few more tools in the toolkit. I sought help,” he says.

Curtis says the webinar will help pharmacists to: “normalise those feelings that we’ve all had, and allow us to listen to people talk about some coping strategies that they’ve learned and recommend, and to understand that we are all feeling those feelings. We’re all in the same boat”. 

WHEN: 13 Oct 2020 – 8-9PM AEDT – Click here to register or here for more information

This event is aimed at all members of the pharmacy profession, with particular relevance to small business owners, and the impacts of these factors on mental health.

The panel will cover topics such as:

  • Stress factors for pharmacists as health professionals and as small business owners
  • Preventing and managing burnout, anxiety and depression in the pharmacy profession
  • Suicide prevention in the pharmacy profession
  • The resources that are available, as well as necessary, to ensure pharmacy professionals can manage their own mental health and wellbeing in order to look after the communities they serve

The round-table discussion will be followed by moderated questions from webinar participants.

Hosted by AJP editor Chris Brooker, with:

  • Kate Carnell AO – inaugural Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and Beyond Blue Ambassador

  • Curtis Ruhnau – community pharmacy owner and practising pharmacist, PDL Director, PSS Board Member and Mental Health First Aider



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