The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) have entered into a new three-year Memorandum of Understanding, continuing PSA’s long term support for PSS and its work supporting pharmacists across the community.
The PSS provides a telephone support service, working on the principle of pharmacists supporting pharmacists, by providing a listening ear over the telephone to pharmacists, pharmacy interns and students. The PSS also receives queries and calls from family, friends, colleagues and pharmacy staff who are concerned about a pharmacist.
PSA President, Associate Professor Chris Freeman, said the support service was an invaluable tool to assist community pharmacists around Australia, their patients, family and the broader community interests.
“PSA is happy to support the valuable work of this service, particularly as it sees pharmacists working together to address issues and concerns within the sector in the community interest,” A/Prof Freeman said.
The volunteers who take the calls are all pharmacists and are trained in the crisis model of telephone counselling to support their colleagues.
Pharmacists are often a first point of call for people with medical and medicinal issues, and the PSS provides an opportunity for all pharmacists to discuss stressful events and issues of concern with an independent colleague in a confidential manner.
The focus of the PSS is support, empowerment and information provision. It aims to benefit the public by ensuring that pharmacists maintain their health and well-being and provide an appropriate level of service to the Australian community.
Issues raised include stress, crime related trauma, workplace and workload concerns, employment matters, substance abuse, mental health, suicide, ill-health, professional and financial pressures, practice matters and ethical issues.
PSS President, John Coppock, said the MoU and sponsorship will allow the PSS to continue in its important support and advisory role.
“We welcome the PSA’s ongoing support – without continued support like this it would be difficult to maintain and operate this service for the sector and the community,” Mr Coppock said.