Eastern Melbourne PHN and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Victoria, today launched a mental health resource for pharmacists as part of the Pharmacy Integration Project Report.
This Project was jointly developed by the Guild’s Victorian branch and EMPHN’s program, Eastern Melbourne Partners in Recovery (EMPIR).
EMPHN CEO, Robin Whyte, says the project was one of the first of its kind in Australia.
“This report and the resulting resource sheet show that pharmacists in our region are willing and able to assist consumers suffering from ill-mental health,” says Whyte.
“In the report, 53 local pharmacies were consulted to explore the ways community pharmacy could provide support to people with mental illness and any existing barriers.”
“The project also aimed to improve access to targeted mental health first aid training to pharmacists and pharmacy staff in the EMPIR catchment.
“The key finding of the project is that community pharmacy currently provides a range of services to people with mental illness in addition to supplying medicines.”
Victorian Guild branch director, Anthony Tassone says the project uncovered significant variations in the knowledge around the range of mental health services available in the area.
“The lack of information about the range of mental health services available represents a significant barrier to community pharmacy staff in their ability to support people with mental health needs,” says Tassone..
“The mental health resource sheet should help in beginning to bridge that knowledge gap.”
“The sheet provides contact details for useful mental health services and information about how to access health system referral and navigation tools, HealthPathways Melbourne and Eastern Metro Region Mental Health Navigation Tool,” says Tassone.