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Support for pharmacists to provide much-needed mental health services is now available through two new publications from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP): 

  • Mental Health Care — A Handbook for Pharmacists; and 
  • Knowledge and Skills Reference Guide for Professional Development in Mental Health Care. 

The handbook, developed in collaboration with an international group of experts, aims to support pharmacy practice, 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. The reference guide is intended to accompany the handbook and defines the knowledge and skills that pharmacists need to acquire to provide such services. 

“It is estimated that 7 per cent of all global burden of disease and 19 per cent 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 healthcare 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,” said Mr Paul Sinclair, chair of the FIP Board of Pharmaceutical Practice. 

“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,” Mr Sinclair added. 

Mental Healthcare — A Handbook for Pharmacists is available at 

Knowledge and Skills Reference Guide for Professional Development in Mental Health Care is available at https://www.fip. org/file/5174.