Do Your Part for Better Mental Health

Mental health is top of mind. How can you raise awareness during May (Mental Health Awareness Month), but more importantly, keep awareness high throughout the entire year? We’ve got six easy ideas to help you, your patients, your community, and your region.

Offer free resources

Free, high-quality educational materials galore are available on the internet and through local healthcare organizations. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides infographics, fact sheets and a video resource library as well as many other resources. And while you’re at it, find out if your city or county has a local NAMI affiliate. More than 600 NAMI state organizations and affiliates are located throughout the United States.

Mental Health America (MHA) is another great spot to find relevant, trustworthy educational material.

Host an event or screening

Take the initiative and host an “open house.” Partner with a yoga studio or meditation expert. Or approach a mental health organization about having a licensed professional on site during your event to administer private mental health screenings. MHA also has online mental health tests that quickly measure anxiety, depression, and more. You might schedule such happenings during your slow time, so you increase foot traffic as well.

Promote self-care products

Run specials like BOGO deals or discounts on your relaxation or self-care items such as bubble bath, essential oils, or stress balls. Offer additional counseling on how certain vitamins or supplements might improve energy, mood, and mental wellbeing. You can even go the extra mile or two and print up a quick list of “Self-Care Do’s and Don’ts.”

Provide referrals

You’re trained to recognize signs and symptoms of all diseases, including those affecting mind and emotion. If you conduct an assessment, refer your patient to a mental health professional such as a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Keep a list of professionals who are accepting patients (this will continually change, but your patients will appreciate your extra effort). It might be difficult to get an appointment, but encourage your patient to keep trying.

Offer first-aid training

Sure, you might offer CPR training. But do you or your staff members know how to respond to a mental health episode? Offer Mental Health First Aid training. A number of courses are available to make sure you and your employees possess the skills and knowledge to respond to mental health emergencies. You might even partner with local teachers, first responders, and public safety individuals to train together.


We’ve got news for you—you’re super, but you’re not a superhero. Take care of yourself. And make sure your staff members take care of themselves, as well. Healthcare professionals are in the field because they care—but sometimes at the expense of their own well-being. If you’re feeling tired or burned out, try to take a mini break or even a day away from the pharmacy. Learn mindfulness habits and share them with your staff. Encourage them to have a healthy work-life balance by being a good role model! After all, before you can care for anyone else, you have to care for yourself.

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