Charity night for pharmacist support service a ‘great success’


(L-R): Keynote speaker Elise Apolloni, Stephanie Samios, NAPSA Pharmacy Awareness Chair, and Kay Dunkley from PSS.
(L-R): Keynote speaker Elise Apolloni, Stephanie Samios, NAPSA Pharmacy Awareness Chair, and Kay Dunkley from PSS.

It was a wonderful night with people both young and old coming together, says PSS President

Members of the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) ran a charity dinner event on Wednesday 28 February to raise money for the free service.

Hosted by PSS committee members Lisa and Vincent Li in Box Hill, Victoria, several raffle prizes were provided to guests on the night, with all proceeds going towards the PSS.

“Lisa and Vincent worked unbelievable hours to hold this event,” said John Coppock, President of the PSS.

“It was very important because of course we need funds.

“We’re funded by all the national bodies of the pharmacy sphere, we’re supported by them both financially and intellectually – it’s pharmacists working together for pharmacists,” he told AJP.

“The highlights of the night were that it was booked out, we were well supported by pharmacy organisations as well as the extended local community, and the food was magnificent,” says Mr Coppock.

“It was a wonderful night with so many people talking and mixing, both young and old.

“Elise Apolloni addressed the dinner guess and spoke very well – the future of pharmacy is bright in the hands of pharmacists like her.”

The winner of a raffle prize that included a one-year subscription to the print issue of AJP was Carol Sung-niemes, a hospital pharmacist at Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne.

The PSS is an independent incorporated association supported by the profession, which provides support to Australian pharmacists, particularly those going through difficult times struggling with mental health and requiring emotional support.

PSS is guided by representatives from the Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association, PDL, the Pharmacy Guild, the PSA, the Pharmaceutical Society of Victoria, PPA, SHPA and NAPSA.

Dinner guests (L-R): Sandra Minas, Vasilios Sotiropoulos, Erica Nguyen, Grace Nguyen, Stephanie Salvatore, Jess Rogers, Dean Vlahopoulos, Stephanie Samios.
Dinner guests (L-R): Sandra Minas, Vasilios Sotiropoulos, Erica Nguyen, Grace Nguyen, Stephanie Salvatore, Jess Rogers, Dean Vlahopoulos, Stephanie Samios.

The PSS Charity event was yet another important way to highlight the role that we all have as health professionals, NAPSA president Sandra Minas told AJP.

“The event allowed for a very inspiring group of pharmacists, pharmacy students and interns but also others within the industry to come together to show our support for an extremely important cause,” she said, “celebrating the amazing dedication the members and volunteers of the PSS have towards the mental health and wellbeing of individuals within our profession.

“It also showed that as a profession we are moving forward to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, by speaking up and letting the community know we are here for them. 

“Guest speaker Elise Apolloni bravely spoke about her experience being confronted by the suicide of someone close to her at work. Although a once difficult topic, it has brought to light how much a single conversation with a patient, friend or colleague can significantly impact their lives.

“Another highlight was of course being inspired by so many within the profession who had made the effort to not only donate but show up in support for a service that helps so many every single day.”

The PSS and NAPSA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, formalising their ongoing relationship for the next three years including an agreement to collaborate to promote the wellbeing of the pharmacy profession.

PSS relies on the generosity of the profession to continue its work.  Donations to PSS can be made via the online portal which is linked to its website: www.givenow.com.au/pharmacistssupportservice.

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