Many people with mental health problems experience poorer care than they should, and much of this relates to getting the right treatment. Pharmacists can play a vital role in providing accessible services to support people’s mental health, not only to help people get the most from their medicines, but also around looking after their general health and wellbeing
Make mental health care a core part of existing and new services
Any services offered by Epic pharmacy would routinely take into account mental health, it is crucial that in a generalist setting mental health is not separated out and treated as something different to other care. Epic Pharmacy considers mental health problems when talking to patients newly diagnosed with a long-term condition.
Similarly if a at Epic Pharmacy we see a patient, or if our pharmacist reviews a patient’s medicines, the pharmacist would know when and how to initiate conversations about mental health. When patients are discharged from acute trusts and referred to Epic pharmacy for follow up mental health needs are routinely considered.
Early identification of mental health problems
Early identification of depression and anxiety is a potential role for our pharmacists working in primary and community care settings, and in acute trusts. Our Pharmacists and their teams are aware of common trigger points (for example, bereavement or diagnosis of a long term condition ) in order to help early identification of illness. Trigger points would prompt the question “how does this make you feel?”
At Epic Pharmacy any services that focus on early identification are integrated with local care pathways with signposting options, and referral criteria and pathways defined to ensure that a person centred and system wide approach is taken.
Integrate services for ongoing monitoring of medicines
As well as early identification of people suffering from mental health problems, our pharmacists and their teams also have the potential to support ongoing treatment and monitoring of existing patients. Pharmacists at Epic can support reviews of long term medicines given regular trigger points to identify need and open communication with the multidisciplinary team.