Many of us are aware of the importance of looking after ourselves physically, but how many of us allocate time to looking after our mental health? With figures from the charity Mind indicating that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, a shift in focus toward mental wellbeing may be in order. Looking after our wellbeing is a way of understanding what we need to feel good and function well.

Man looking stressed

A wellbeing legacy – the story so far…

Over the past five years the team at Pharmacist Support – the profession’s independent charity – has been assisted by a substantial legacy to develop pro-active ways to assist those in the profession to manage their wellbeing. The forward thinking vision of the benefactor enabled the creation of the Wardley wellbeing service. Practical support is provided, free of charge, through workshops and a range of online resources which focus on the provision of information, tools and techniques to help recognise the signs and symptoms of stress and deal with everyday pressures.

Since its launch in 2013, Pharmacist Support’s wellbeing service has reached over 10,000 pharmacists, pre-registration trainees and students of pharmacy. A variety of organisations have benefited, including universities, local pharmacies and pharmacist groups, large multiples and pharmaceutical companies throughout Great Britain.

Students in the School of Pharmacy at Keele University have been benefitting from the wellbeing workshops provided by Pharmacist Support for three years. Commenting on the importance of this work, Dr Katie Maddock, MPharm Director of Learning and Teaching at Keele University said “Stress is often seen as part of being a student, but it can hamper their progress and cloud their time at university. The wellbeing workshops provide participants with strategies to manage the stress involved with studying an intensive course such as pharmacy; these are skills that students can take into their pre-registration year and beyond.”

The workshops have also gone down well with employers, supporting pharmacists in the workplace. “I am a big supporter of charities who support those in need of mental health support” commented Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots. “I also see the value in wellbeing and people learning tools and approaches to help them support their own wellbeing. I understand the pressures that some pharmacists are under and the more we can get people to understand some of the tools that can help, the better.”

New workshops, new focus

Building on the success of this service to date, Pharmacist Support is now expanding its wellbeing support with the launch of brand new workshops focussing on three specific areas: Assertiveness, Building resilience and Time management.

The new sessions will allow attendees to explore these aspects of manging their wellbeing in more detail. The aim of these workshops is to provide effective techniques to help equip those in the profession to build the resilience and confidence they need to deal with the day-to-day and unexpected stresses of pharmacy. Attendees will explore a range of tried and tested tools, techniques and ideas, with activities including role play, case studies, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and group discussion. Each workshop will also count towards your CPD.

“These three new workshops are an ideal next step for people who have already attended the ‘Introduction to wellbeing’ workshop and want to broaden their knowledge, but they are also perfectly accessible for anyone new to the service” commented Pharmacist Support Chief Executive Diane Leicester-Hallam.“Each session is discussed and planned in advance with the host to ensure it meets the specific needs of each group, and is adapted whenever necessary.”

The Wardley wellbeing workshops available now include:

  1. Introduction to wellbeing
  2. Introduction to assertiveness
  3. Stress management & building resilience
  4. My time

Pharmacist Support has a team of trainers who can deliver workshops at venues convenient to you, your students/colleagues or employees across Great Britain. Those interested in booking a free session should get in touch with the team at Pharmacist Support on the details below. NB a minimum of 15 attendees is required to confirm a booking.

Pharmacist Support is the profession’s independent charity providing a range of free and confidential services to pharmacists and their families, pre-registration trainees and MPharm students in need. For further information on the charity and their work visit

To speak to someone about booking a wellbeing session, call 0161 441 0811 or email

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, June, Vol 298, No 7902;298(7902)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203023

You may also be interested in