Pharmacist Support announces wellbeing campaigns for the year ahead
Sector charity Pharmacist Support is to kick off its 2022 wellbeing focused activities with the launch of its now annual Student ACTNow Campaign this April.
With the 20th anniversary of its stress awareness month also taking place in April, the charity has said that this year’s ACTNow campaign will again run three targeted wellbeing campaigns.
The first will focus on the issues experienced by pharmacy students, and centers around exam anxiety, social anxiety and bullying. This campaign will run from March 30 to April 6.
The second will be the charity’s Trainee ACTNow campaign that will focus on getting mentally prepared for the assessment and the transition to responsible pharmacist. This will run from May 25 to June 1.
The final installment will be a pharmacist focused campaign that will kick off once again on World Pharmacists Day (September 25) and run for four weeks, ending on October 22.
This marks a continuation of the charity’s focus on mental health and wellbeing, a year after it launched a counselling service that has helped 73 pharmacists during the first 12 months, some of whom “have presented with the most complex of traumas”.
After a recruitment drive Pharmacist Support is also expanding its peer support network of Listening Friends.
Pharmacist Support chief executive Danielle Hunt (pictured) said: “Our 2022 ACTNow campaigns will build on the success and momentum of the last two years.
“While the campaign’s main aim is to continue to raise the important issue of wellbeing and Pharmacist Support generally, this year it will broaden its focus on wellbeing in the workplace.
“In order to tackle some of the issues highlighted through our research around workplace culture and stigma, we feel it is important to look beyond what individuals can do, and towards what we can all do to create positive environments to allow people to thrive.
“In 2021 many across the sector took the first step and signed up to the RPS wellbeing and inclusion pledge. Through this campaign, we want to further support organisations to deliver on this commitment and embed wellbeing practices into the workplace and place of study by providing practical support.
“Our aspiration is to create a tidal wave of change to reverse the trends of high levels of burnout within the profession. We believe this will only be realised through collaborative working and commitment.
“We therefore would like to work collaboratively with as many organisations – universities, employers, managers and membership bodies – across the sector as possible.”
This year, as part of Stress Awareness Month, people are being encouraged to speak up and speak out. Linking into this theme, Pharmacist Support will be launching a set of resources focused on encouraging and normalising mental health conversations in the workplace. They will be encouraging organisations, employers and managers to put employees mental health at the top of the agenda.
“We know from our 2021 joint Workforce wellbeing survey with the RPS that many in the sector do not feel comfortable opening up about their anxieties and reaching out for support in the workplace or place of study” commented Ms Hunt.
“It can be difficult to speak out about mental health at work, but even more so if it isn’t supported or encouraged. However, not doing so can be costly not only to the individual, but to businesses and the sector. We want to help organisations establish and maintain a healthy, supportive work and study environment.
“An environment where individuals, across an entire organisation, and in particular those in leadership positions, feel comfortable opening up and encouraging others to do the same. We recognize that to establish a culture built around trust, needs buy in from and to be led from the top.”