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What Pharmacists Can Do To Support Mental Health

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) observes Mental Health Awareness Month in May.  Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness and pharmacists play a critical role in their care.   Make your pharmacy a mental healthcare resource for your patients and community. 

7 Ways Pharmacies Can Support Mental Healthcare in May and Year-Round: 

1. Offer Mental Health Screenings. May is a good month to increase your messaging to patients around the importance of screenings.  

2. Offer medication adherence solutions. Adherence support makes it easier for patients to be compliant with their prescribed mental health medications, ultimately decreasing the risk of forgetfulness and preventing any cognitive function issues.

3. Use Medication Therapy Management and general patient counseling with motivational interviewing to educate patients on the importance of medications in their daily regimen.

4. Make OTC recommendations when there is drug-induced nutrient depletion to help reduce impact to mood. 

5. Offer delivery services to patients with physical and mental difficulties getting out of the house. 

6. Your pharmacy team can be a positive relationship for customers and your store can be a source for personal interaction. Remind your team how important they are to patients even in their small, regular interactions. 

7. Connect with local community organizations developed to address mental health needs for patient referrals when necessary.  Use NAMI's Mental Health Awareness Month Resources for more ideas and tools you can use and share.

May this month bring some sunshine to your store while you are working hard to care for your community. Don't forget to check-in on your own stress level and the mental wellbeing of your team. Ask your team for ways your store can support patient and team member mental health and wellbeing this month and all year.  

Get more recommendations for increasing and connecting with referral sources.