The Welsh Government has announced that during the COVID-19 pandemic, a free mental health support service will be extended to a wide range of front-line NHS staff, including pharmacy professionals.
Initially a doctor only service, access to the ‘Health for Health Professionals Wales’ service will now be available to all pharmacy professionals. It is also being made available for returning retired pharmacists’ and pharmacy students who are volunteering to assist in the response to the pandemic through Covid Hub Wales.
The service will provide a comprehensive tiered model of support during and post the Covid-19 pandemic for those with acute symptoms such as feeling overwhelmed, distressed and developing symptoms of anxiety, depression and longer-term effects such as PTSD. Access to face to face counselling, self-help tools and online resources are a part of this important service.
Commenting on the announcement, Elen Jones, RPS Director for Wales, said:
“Pharmacy teams are working incredibly hard to support their patients at this challenging time. It is vital that they themselves have all the support they need to maintain their own wellbeing.
At the beginning of this pandemic RPS Wales quickly identified ‘Health for Health Professionals Wales’ as a service that would benefit pharmacy professionals and raised our call to action for Welsh Government on this. We are therefore delighted that the service has now been expanded and pharmacy professionals will benefit from this support”.