Make mental health a priority.
October 10, 2022 is World Mental Health Day according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The slogan, “make mental health & well-being for all a global priority” focuses on wide-scale reform of mental health services worldwide.
According to the WHO, 1 in 8 people globally were living with a mental disorder in 2019––a statistic that does not account for the negative mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, there were major disruptions in mental health services, widening the treatment gap that many patients faced.
Caring for patients’ mental health is becoming increasingly important. To gauge the mental health status of patients, surveys can be conducted while the patient is in the pharmacy for unrelated reasons.
It is equally as important for pharmacy staff to have training in mental health first aid and trauma-informed care. This knowledge can help staff be able to recognize mental health crises and to treat patients with a history of trauma with the appropriate sensitivity.
Another important part of supporting patients’ mental health is working with relevant state associations and advocacy groups. These groups play a key role in pharmacy innovation and advocacy andcan also help pass vital legislation.
Most of all, it’s important for pharmacists to care for their own mental health. Pharmacists often experience burnout and high levels of stress, and it can be difficult prioritizemental health when caring for others.
There are many ways pharmacists can take care of their mental health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health recommends the following: getting regular exercise, eating healthy meals regularly, making sleep a priority, trying relaxing activities, setting goals and priorities, practicing gratitude, focusing on positivity, and staying connected with friends and family.
Practicing all of these habits can be overwhelming, so it is important to focus on what can be done, instead of what can’t. With a busy schedule, including any of these habits ina day-to-day routine is a great place to start.
Although today in particular is a great time to practice caring for your mental health, every day should be treated like World Mental Health Day. From pharmacists to patients, caring for mental health is more important than ever.