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Pharmacy teams get free access to Covid-19 mental health training

Pharmacy teams are among those who can access Public Health England’s new psychological first aid (PFA) training course, aimed at helping key workers and volunteers provide mental health support to colleagues and members of the public during the Covid-19 crisis.

According to PHE, the free online course helps key workers develop the skills needed to provide psychological support to people affected by the pandemic, such as individuals who have been bereaved or lost their job, or those struggling with isolation during the lockdown.

The course, which takes around 90 minutes to complete and can be accessed via the social learning platform Future Learn, also looks at how national emergencies can impact mental health, how to recognise people who may be more vulnerable and how to offer practical and emotional support.

PFA tools are being used worldwide during the pandemic and are supported by the World Health Organization and United Nations, said PHE.

PHE medical director Yvonne Doyle said yesterday: “The current pandemic has had a profound impact on all of our daily lives and none more so than our frontline workers who are seeing the effects of the outbreak first hand.

“Our training course aims to provide frontline staff and volunteers with additional resources on how to take care of their own mental health and wellbeing, how to provide support to those who need it most and advice on how to cope with difficult situations.”

Mental health minister Nadine Dorries commented: “Supporting each other’s mental health and wellbeing is more important than ever during these challenging and uncertain times. Staff and volunteers in many different roles are working tirelessly to provide crucial support at this time and are often a critical touchpoint in identifying those who may be affected.

“This new training course will help to support the incredible work of frontline workers to support those most in need both through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond, equipping them with vital tools to deliver psychological first aid.”

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