Stronger alliance heralds new investment in pharmacists’ health and wellbeing

Increased funding and a range of webinars and new events will help support the workplace wellbeing of Australian pharmacists after the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) renewed its alliance with Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) today.

The new Memorandum of Understanding will see SHPA boost its funding commitment to PSS by more the 50 per cent over three years, collaboration to deliver the inaugural SHPA Wellness at Work webinar series from February next year and a special one-off webinar on World Mental Health Day on Wednesday 10 October 2018.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says as pharmacist roles continue to evolve, so too does the holistic approach required to support their health and wellbeing.

‘SHPA members continue to entrench their emerging and expanding roles in multidisciplinary medical teams and work in increasingly complex environments.

‘We are proud to grow our partnership with PSS and deliver a range of new and improved initiatives and services to support the wellness of hospital pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and assistants both on and off the clock.’

The World Mental Health Day webinar will be complemented by six others in 2018 – including Managing Stress (February), Mindful Learning (April), Mindfulness for Managers (June) and Assert Yourself! (August) – which will provide pharmacists with insight into tools, techniques and resources they can use to manage stress and improve work satisfaction.

PSS President John Coppock says the stronger alliance is timely.

'We have seen a number of research studies confirming that pharmacists are more stressed than the broader Australian population; in particular, our study with Monash University and Master Research Australasia highlighted mounting pressure on pharmacists across care settings.

‘PSS provides an essential listening ear to pharmacists, interns and students in need, and is run by volunteer pharmacists trained in the crisis model of telephone counselling – we are thrilled to commit to greater cooperation with SHPA to work toward a stronger and more effective workforce.’

Ms Michaels says the investment in wellbeing complements an important new initiative, the SHPA Mentoring Program.

‘In November we launched Australia’s only pharmacy mentoring program solely based on one-to-one connections, which will empower pharmacists to build their confidence, sharpen their focus, dismantle barriers and grow job satisfaction.

‘With applications recently closed and demand high, we look forward to matching pairs for the limited 2018 pilot year, before extending the program to see more pharmacist power their potential in 2019.’

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