Local pharmacists across the northern area are helping to raise awareness of mental health issues through window displays, posters and leaflets over the next fortnight.
The campaign which will run for two weeks is being supported by the Health and Social Care Board, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and is being funded by the Public Health Agency. Ms Jayne McConaghie, Senior Health Promotion Officer for Mental Health, Northern Health and Social are Trust, said:
“Statistics show that 1 in 6 of our population has a mental health need at any one time, which is estimated at 250,000 adults and 45,000 children. With the current climate that Northern Ireland finds itself in the stresses and strains of everyday life are present in abundance, from job losses, high unemployment rates, financial worries which leads to increased pressures and stress for families and life in general.
“In addition January can be an extremely difficult month after the buzz of the festive season where people may have overindulged and overspent on loved ones”.
In light of this it is crucial that individuals are informed about how they can promote and protect their own mental health as well as where they can access services.”
Ms Julie Conn, Pharmacist with Boots, said:
“The community pharmacist is in an ideal position to highlight these issues and to provide information to individuals who may not be currently accessing services.”
Mrs Emer McLean, Community Pharmacy Adviser, Health and Social Care Board Northern Office, said:
“We are delighted to be able to support local community pharmacists with this campaign which is aimed at both raising awareness and helping to signpost people to the appropriate support services.”
The campaign is in line with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety ‘Promoting Mental Health Strategy and Action Plan’ 2003-2008 as well as Delivering the Bamford Vision (DHSSPS).
Twenty pharmacies across the northern area are taking part in the campaign which will run until the end of January.