Pharmacy students raise more than $16,000 for charity

NAPSA Congress Organising Chair Caela Crane (left) presents the cheque to PSS Secretary Kay Dunkley (right).

Pharmacy students have raised a huge amount for the 2019 NAPSA Congress charity, the Pharmacists’ Support Service

The National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) gifted $16,534 in donations to the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) at the NAPSA Congress Gala Ball on Sunday night.

PSS provides a listening ear over the telephone to pharmacists, pharmacy interns and students who require support, and the organisation also receives calls from family, friends, colleagues and pharmacy staff who are concerned about a pharmacist.

PSS president John Coppock says he’s “absolutely stunned” by the amount raised by NAPSA.

“I’m still buzzing from the amount of money we fundraised,” he told AJP.

“They obviously realise how important a support service like PSS is to them. It highlights to me the quality of people we’ve got coming in to be pharmacists. It shows you their enthusiasm, their togetherness, their energy. And they’re quite inspirational to me, it restores your faith in the future.”

Mr Coppock highlighted the importance of the work that the PSS does.

“PSS has got to be publicised widely to the community because a lot of pharmacists still don’t know that PSS is available – and you hope that you never have to need it.

“A healthy pharmacist is so important for the wellbeing of the public. Good mental health is so important because if a pharmacist has good mental health, then they are less likely to make an error. The pressure in society right now is enormous.

“Those who run the PSS helpline are pharmacists so they understand the pressures that the caller may be under.”

Jess Hsiao, NAPSA President, said: “As students prepare to enter the pharmacy profession it is reassuring to know that the PSS are always available for support. As soon-to-be pharmacists it is important to be proactive and look after our own mental health within our day-to-day practice.

“NAPSA supports PSS in all their amazing efforts and dedication to the individuals who make up our profession. We are very pleased to be able to support PSS to enhance wellbeing in all members of the pharmacy profession,” said Ms Hsiao.

NAPSA has a representative on the PSS board, which Mr Coppock says is a positive addition to the team.

“They can have input, we welcome their perspective in our work. In a few years’ time they’re going to become pharmacists and they’re in the stream then.”

He thanked NAPSA for their contribution to such an important service.

“NAPSA has grown into a very formidable organisation. [They have] gone well beyond the call of duty.”

The Pharmacists’ Support Service is available to all pharmacists, intern pharmacists and pharmacy students throughout Australia every day of the year between 8.00 am and 11.00 pm EST. Pharmacists who are distressed can call 1300 244 910.

Pharmacists can support PSS by clicking on its site directly or via Facebook, and will then be taken to its online giving portal, hosted by Give Now.

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