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.
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The charity Pharmacist Support has received funding from the COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal (CHSA), which it will use to provide pharmacists, trainees and students with access to a counselling service.
The CHSA is a time-limited charity set up to help organisations support healthcare staff who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, Pharmacist Support was awarded a £32,500 grant from the charity.
Pharmacist Support said it would use the funds to “provide direct psychological support for those who are experiencing mental health issues”. It will do this through a partnership with The Counselling & Family Centre, under which people will be able to access six counselling sessions, free of charge. The service will begin on 23 April 2021.
In a survey conducted jointly by Pharmacist Support and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which ran between 24 September and 12 October 2020, just under a third (31%) of respondents said that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted their mental health and wellbeing to a significant extent. Just over half (54%) said their mental health and wellbeing had been partially affected.
News of the counselling service was announced on Pharmacist Support’s 180th anniversary. Danielle Hunt, chief executive of the charity, said that as the body looks to the future it hopes to “build on our existing services, providing more tailored and emotional mental health support as we move into the new phase of our charitable journey”.