The increasing roles that pharmacists and their national associations are taking in mental health care are illustrated in a new document from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). “Focus on mental health: The contribution of the pharmacist” was published on World Mental Health Day (10 October).
The More Than Meds project, led by Bloom Program co-leads Drs. Gardner and Murphy is highlighted in the report.
The document gives an overview of the areas in mental health care in which pharmacists are involved, including health promotion, early detection, triage, optimising treatment outcomes, education (including addiction prevention), shaping public policies, research and inter-professional practice.
Gaps in the mental health care have long been acknowledged and global initiatives to address these gaps include the movement towards universal health coverage, the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme and the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020. “Delivery of these initiatives requires a different skill mix and a different attitude to health. For many people experiencing mental health problems, pharmacists and family doctors are likely to be their first point of contact. Pharmacists have a significant role to play if we are to make mental health for all a global reality,” said Gabriel Ivbijaro, President Elect of the World Federation for Mental Health.