The importance of self care

Calls from pharmacists seeking help have risen in the last year

“With rising COVID-19 case numbers, lockdowns in several states and territories and pharmacists on the frontline providing vaccination services it is essential that as a profession we all take time to support each other,” said John Coppock, President of the Pharmacists’ Support Service. 

Mr Coppock noted that it does not take much effort to be kind, to express appreciation and to support each other, which he says will enhance teamwork in any workplace.

Mr Coppock also noted the importance of self-care at all times but especially during periods of increased stress.  

“All those working in pharmacy need to have adequate rest breaks and to eat and stay hydrated during working hours to ensure they can work efficiently and effectively,” he said.

“Pharmacy staff who are exhausted and hungry will not perform at their best and may even place the public at risk if a concentration lapse results in an error.”

Calls to PSS have increased to more than 460 in the last 12 months, up by 16% compared to the previous year, the service reports.

It suggests that the reasons for this may include increased stress levels during COVID-19 but there is also a growing awareness that it is important to seek help when facing a challenging situation, feeling under pressure or struggling with mental health issues. 

John Coppock advised, “Reaching out for support is a much better option than trying to go it alone and perhaps making a poor decision which can have negative consequences”.

“PSS represents all the major pharmacy membership organisations when it comes to the health and wellbeing of pharmacists and we are pharmacists supporting pharmacists. 

“We encourage you all to ask for help if you need it and to support each other.

“As pharmacists we are all in this together and it is important that we look after ourselves and we look after each other so that we are able to look after the Australian community during this pandemic.  If you need support, PSS is available as close as your phone.”

The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is a charity which focuses on the mental health and well-being of the Australian pharmacy profession.

Pharmacists can contact the Pharmacists Support Service on 1300 244 910 for peer support  related to the demands of being a pharmacist in Australia.

Lifeline is available on 13 11 14.

Members can call PDL on 1300 854 838 for support from a Professional Officer.

AJP is currently running a poll on how COVID has impacted mental health in the profession here.

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