Staying afloat on the wave of COVID-19 and beyond

How do you cope when your dream is shattered? How can a pharmacy become a mental health hub? And how do you nurture your own headspace?

These questions and many more aspects of dealing with the fallout from the pandemic are discussed in this webinar, recorded on Tuesday 21 July 2020.

Hear how Rachael Lynch – R U OK? ambassador, Hockeyroo and registered nurse in WA – handled her disappointment at the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics, and what she did next (hint: it’s pretty amazing). 

Learn about how Elise Apolloni – Canberra-based community pharmacist, pharmacy owner and Mental Health First Aid instructor – became aware of the need to prevent suicide within the pharmacy workforce and the wider community, and how she set about transforming her pharmacy into a mental health hub.

And hear from Erin Cooper – NAPSA President 2019-2020 and pharmacy intern  – about how she started her internship in Canberra ‘the day before the smoke rolled in’, and had to adapt her personal support network as her team got split to deal with the pandemic. 

Be informed and inspired by these three women who, among many other things, are advocates for improved mental health within pharmacy and the wider community. They answer questions such as:

  • How do we shift our expectations or dreams for the future?
  • How do we offer support to a person we suspect isn’t travelling well, but is ‘too proud’ to seek professional help?
  • How do we approach a person we are concerned about, to ask R U OK?
  • What resources are available for pharmacists and members of the public to deal with mental health issues?
  • Where can I receive Mental Health First Aid training?
  • Can an anxiety disorder be treated without medication?
  • How can we look after ourselves?

This free one-hour webinar is the third in a short series aimed at helping pharmacists, pharmacy interns, students and pharmacy staff to navigate the stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A list of resources that may be useful for a person developing a mental health issue, or living with a mental health issue, or in a mental health crisis, is available here. Compiled by Pharmacists’ Support Service.


More about the speakers:

Rachael Lynch is a dedicated, passionate and genuine ambassador for not-for-profit organisation R U OK?  She has been involved since 2013 and her consistent support has helped raise awareness, especially in Western Australia.

As a player for The Hockeyroos, Rachael knows when you’re out on the field and the stakes are high, you need to support your teammates. But it’s just as important to support each other off the pitch as well. Rachael speaks from the heart about her reasons for supporting the suicide prevention charity.  The combination of her down to earth personality and iconic sports person status, makes her both an approachable yet aspirational role model to people of all ages.

Rachael has been involved in many elements of the campaign, from media interviews to public speaking, nothing is ever too much trouble.  And in 2014 she raised over $35,000 walking the Kokoda track with Hockeyroos teammate and fellow Ambassador Ashleigh Nelson.

Elise Apolloni is a Canberra-based community pharmacist, pharmacy owner, Mental Health First Aid instructor and mum. She is a passionate advocate for a mentally healthier Australia.

After losing a colleague and friend to suicide in 2015, she has used skills gained from specialised postgraduate study to inform and enhance how community pharmacy responds to mental health. She and her team have received local and national recognition for this commitment to community wellness.

Elise has trained over 250 pharmacists and pharmacy assistants in Mental Health First Aid, volunteered as a telephone crisis supporter for Lifeline and other helplines, implemented healthy workplace strategies, developed innovative patient services and raised tens of thousands of dollars for various mental health charities with the help of her team and Capital Chemist more widely.

Erin Cooper is the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association President 2019-2020 and a pharmacy intern at Capital Chemist Wanniassa.





Webinar brought to you by the AJP, R U OK? and Pharmacists’ Support Services.


 Missed the recent webinar ‘COVID-19: leading teams through unprecedented certainty? Watch it here.


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