Mental Health Roadmap a Good First Step

18 January 2012

 The Government’s draft Ten Year Plan for Mental Health is a welcome first step in helping to address what is Australia’s third most prevalent health problem after heart disease and cancer.

However, Vice-President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Claire O’Reilly, said the draft was disappointing in that while calling for  “a collective role” in improving mental health and  wellbeing, the draft fails to look very far beyond the usual suspects (or ‘current system’) and makes no mention whatsoever in its 42 pages of the most accessible of all health-care professionals – pharmacists.

“Pharmacists are well placed to be alert to symptoms of  mental health problems in consumers, and to help advise and refer them for further treatment when appropriate,” Ms O’Reilly said.

“Pharmacists interact with people who suffer from psychological or mental health problems on a daily basis and therefore are in the prime position to help people with mental health problems.

“It is therefore disappointing not to see any mention of the role pharmacists can play in this draft roadmap.”

Ms O’Reilly said the PSA had put forward a submission to the Government, highlighting the role pharmacists could play in the mental health area, particularly during the very vulnerable time when patients were transferring from hospital to home or a care facility. 

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Mental Health Roadmap a Good First Step