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Pharmacist Support reports increased demand for mental health services


Pharmacist Support reports increased demand for mental health services

Pharmacist Support chair of trustees Esther Sadler-Williams

Sector charity Pharmacist Support provided 911 counselling sessions to its service users – a 214 per cent increase on the precious year, its impact report for 2022 reveals.

Citing a joint survey carried out last year by Pharmacist Support and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society revealing that 96 per cent of community pharmacists are at high risk of burnout, the charity said that in 2022 it saw increased demand for its mental health services.

In addition to the increase in funded counselling sessions, the charity’s addiction support services supported 13 individuals, while 31 people were provided with a ‘listening friend’ offering peer support. 

The number of financial grants awarded by the charity increased by 44 per cent to 114 grants with a total value of £107,901. 

As well as grants, a total of £64,155 was accessed by service users through claiming benefits and successfully appealing against decisions made by the Department of Work and Pensions, while a reported £382,135 in gains was achieved on behalf of beneficiaries through specialist employment advice in areas like discrimination, harassment and bullying.

The charity said it is focused on boosting its fundraising and benefiting from its investment portfolio to secure its continued existence. The value of corporate donations increased by 36 per cent in 2022, with special mentions made of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association and TEVA UK in the report.

The report also touches on the possibility of the charity extending its services to pharmacy technicians as their professional autonomy increases, stating: “Our next steps will be guided by and aligned to the outcome of the UK Commission’s report on the future for Pharmacy Professional Leadership including that of the prospective Pharmacy Leadership Council." 

Pharmacist Support’s chair of trustees, Esther Sadler-Williams commented: “Utilising the research findings from our annual joint workforce wellbeing survey with the RPS as well as our own service user feedback, the charity has been able to ensure that we provide the support that is needed by our pharmacy family right now.

“It has been critical that we were able to respond and adapt quickly to need which is something we are particularly proud of.”

Commenting on upgrades to its website and customer relationship management system, she said: “Through these developments our beneficiaries can now access a wealth of information and self-refer for a range of services via our website. 

“This has included the ability to submit a grant application via our secure portal. By December 2022, compared to 2021 the charity experienced a 44 per cent increase in the number of grants awarded to those in the profession in need of financial assistance.”

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