– Releases New Guidelines on Mental Health
The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has admonished pharmacists across the globe to expand roles in mental health, with recommendation of two new guidelines .
In a press statement from the FIP, made available to Pharmanewsonline, the Chairman, FIP Board of Pharmaceutical Practice, Mr Paul Sinclair said, “It is estimated that 7% of all global burden of disease and 19% of all years lived with disability are attributable to mental and addictive disorders.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the incidence of mental illness and reduced availability of mental health services, but there was already a massive deficiency in mental health care that needed to be resolved in many countries before the pandemic. We know that pharmacists can play a significant part in addressing these shortages and make a big difference to improving global health in this way”.
He mentioned the two new guidelines as : “Mental healthcare — A handbook for pharmacists”; and “Knowledge and skills reference guide for professional development in mental health care”.
Sinclair explained that the two new guidelines were developed in collaboration with an international group of experts with the sole aim of supporting and creating awareness of the importance of pharmacy practice, and presenting the many potential mental healthcare actions that pharmacists can perform, from preventing mental illness and screening for signs to optimising medication and responding to mental health crises.
To ratify his previous claim, Mr Sinclair further stated that, “It is vital that we expand the health workforce that can flag mental health issues, provide mental health first aid, refer people with lived-experience of mental illness to specialists and provide subsequent support. Pharmacists’ accessibility and positive relationships with people in their communities can be utilised. They can be and need to be engaged in mental health, and these two new FIP resources supports them to do so”.
The keynote observed and affirmed is that the reference guide is intended to accompany the handbook and define the knowledge and skills that pharmacists need to acquire to provide mental healthcare and other related services.