One in six Australians are likely to experience depression and one in four likely to experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Research shows that 65% of people who have experienced a mental health disorder in the last 12 months did not seek help. These statistics clearly show there is more need now than ever before for pharmacists to play a role in mental health in the community.
Depression is a “social and economic time-bomb”. This rather melodramatic description gives an accurate portrayal of an illness that has severe consequences not only for the health and social welfare of people who are affected and their families, but also in its economic and social impact on the wider community.
What makes things still worse is that depression is also one of the most misunderstood conditions. It is associated with huge stigma, and there remains a perception that depression is an illness of the weak-willed and that people should just “snap out of it”.
Your pharmacist can help!
Pharmacists could also raise awareness for the need of individuals to maintain their own good mental health to reduce the chance of experiencing stress and or depression. Information on supporting people in the community by maintaining and promoting good mental health
Suggestions to improve mental well-being include:
Keeping physically active
Drinking alcohol in moderation
Valuing yourself and others
Talking about your feelings and not bottling these up
Keeping in touch with friends and family
Getting involved, making a contribution to local community activities
Learning a new skill
Doing something creative or something for fun
Taking a break
BUT perhaps most importantly “Asking for help”