Pharmacy’s mental health crisis: building back better post-pandemic (audio)

A closer look at how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted pharmacy professionals' mental health, both during and after the pandemic.

Open access article

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has made this article free to access in order to help healthcare professionals stay informed about an issue of national importance. To learn more about coronavirus, please visit:

The stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on everyone’s mental health; however, the impact on frontline healthcare workers has been particularly acute.

A survey of 1,194 frontline health and social care staff, including pharmacists, published in March 2021 revealed that 58% experienced a mental health disorder during the first lockdown in 2020, while 22% met the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder. The survey also showed that just under half had clinically significant anxiety and the same proportion had depression.

For some of these individuals, the pandemic will have a long-lasting effect on their mental health and they may require support for years to come.

In this podcast, Julia Robinson investigates the experiences of pharmacists redeployed to intensive care units during the height of the pandemic and the impact it has had on their mental health and wellbeing.

Robinson also looks at the longer term implications for the whole of the pharmacy profession, speaking with Nina Barnett, a consultant pharmacist with extensive experience in providing coaching, mentoring and education for healthcare professionals, and Clare Gerada, medical director of NHS Practitioner Health, a free confidential counselling service that was previously only available to doctors and dentists, about the support that is required going forward.

Thank you to Paresh, Sarah, Hira and “Jane” for sharing their personal stories with us. This podcast was produced by Geoff Marsh.

Are you worried about your mental health, or that of a colleague?

Get support and access resources on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Wellbeing hub.

For personal advice about your own mental health and wellbeing, you can also contact Pharmacist Support, the independent charity for pharmacists.

Also, consider signing the RPS pledge for inclusion and wellbeing.

Want to hear more from The PJ Pod? Follow us on Spotify or Apple Podcasts to download our latest podcasts.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, June 2021, Vol 306, No 7950;306(7950)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.90016

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